A Phillies enthusiast and his companion, an alligator serving as his emotional support animal, encountered disappointment when they were denied access to Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies’ game against the Pirates on Wednesday.

Hailing from Jonestown, Pennsylvania, Joie Henney was spotted with his alligator companion, named Wally, just outside the stadium’s gates on that particular Wednesday.

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Citizens Bank Park maintains a strict policy regarding support animals, explicitly stating, “We welcome guide dogs, service animals, or animals in training for service. All other animals are not permitted.”

WallyGator, as the alligator is affectionately known, has achieved viral fame on popular social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, amassing a substantial following comprising hundreds of thousands of users.

In an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer conducted last year, Henney elaborated on the unique bond he shares with Wally. He explained that Wally plays a crucial role in helping him confront his battles with depression. Remarkably, Henney emphasized that Wally has a gentle and affectionate demeanor, even describing the alligator’s penchant for offering hugs to those around him. Importantly, Henney underscored that Wally has never displayed any aggression by biting or harming anyone.

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The incident at Citizens Bank Park highlights the ongoing debate and challenges surrounding emotional support animals in public spaces. While the bond between Henney and Wally is evident, the park’s strict policy and safety considerations ultimately led to their exclusion from the game. This situation serves as a reminder of the complexities associated with accommodating unique support animals in various public settings and the need to strike a balance between individual needs and public safety.