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Twitter Erupts After Someone Brought Their 'Emotional Support Alligator' To A Philadelphia Park
ABC7/Twitter

Brace yourselves, this is an alligator story that has absolutely nothing to do with Florida.

Twitter absolutely lost its mind over the weekend when Joie Henney allowed his emotional support alligator, WallyGator, to have some fun at Love Park in Philadelphia.

This short clip shows Wally walking with a young girl through the splashpad, which is full of other children and some adults.

Interestingly, people seemed to take the fact federally registered emotional support alligators exist pretty easily.

It was how this particular emotional support alligator—a young male named Wally Gator—was existing that people took a bigger issue with.

Video shows the gator being walked by a child and hanging out in the splash pad area with children. Reports in the Philly Voice indicate Wally was also passed around to multiple strangers to be pet and walked.

Wally's mouth was not secure for any of this and he had no protection on his feet or underbelly, both of which were on hot concrete throughout his park trip. Concrete is widely considered inappropriate and damaging for reptile skin, particularly if it's too hot.

So while some people were shocked...

...others seemed annoyed about the situation.

To them, this was an unnecessary health risk for both the humans and for Wally the alligator.

As usual, Twitter had no problems sharing opinions.


Mind you, just because people dislike the way Henney handles Wally, doesn't mean people don't love the gator.

It's because people are #TeamWally that they get so irritated with the way he is managed.

People love the gator—they're out here cheering for him in the best ways.


Henney isn't too concerned with what people have to say about how he handles WallyGator.

He believes he "knows" the gator and the animal doesn't need to have his mouth secured in order to be passed around to strangers with no handling experience. He also doesn't seem worried about any liability or possible danger to Wally.

Henney says alligators are actually easier to train than dogs.

Wally's journey as an emotional support animal started when Joie Henney began struggling with his mental health.

Rather than take the medications his doctor suggested, Henney opted to lean into his love of animals—specifically Wally the alligator. Henney and his family agree the change has been drastic, and WallyGator does seem to behave more like a dog than an alligator.

You can watch a segment about the pair here.

www.youtube.com

Still, Twitter doesn't seem overly comfortable with the way this wild animal is living.