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‘Emotional support’ alligator denied entry into baseball stadium

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An “emotional support” alligator has been denied entry into a baseball stadium, according to its owner.

Joie Henney took Wally the alligator to the home of the Philadelphia Phillies ahead of their game against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, much to the surprise of onlookers.

Wally – or WallyGator – is considered a support animal and has tens of thousands of followers on social media, where he’s often seen being hugged or kissed.

Wally the alligator is hugged and kissed by people. Pic: wallygatornjoie/Instagram
Image:
Wally the alligator is hugged and kissed by people. Pic: wallygatornjoie/Instagram

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Henney said they had not gone to watch the match but were due to meet the players – but by the time they arrived, the team were busy warming up.

“It was no big deal,” he said, adding they simply turned and went home.

“We were going to go in down below [the stadium], but they were practising for the game and couldn’t have visitors.”

“They’re going to get a hold of us before they go to their next game,” he claimed. “Soon players will get to meet him.”

Citizens Bank Park’s policy on support animals is posted on the Phillies’ official website.

It states: “Guide dogs, service animals, or service animals in training are welcome. All other animals are prohibited.”

Mr Henney, who rescues reptiles, said he first met Wally after his friend captured him in Florida and dropped him off “as a joke” in September 2015.

“But the joke’s on him now,” he said.

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Wally won’t ever bite and nobody knows why, he said, and even his food must be dead and handed to him.

He’s since helped Mr Henney through depression, who claims he is every bit a support animal.

“He’s got a lot of people’s attention, he’s famous for hugs and kisses.”

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