Last August, some visitors to Love Park in Philadelphia had a real scare when they came across… an alligator! But the leash attached to the animal’s neck and the young age of its companion reassured them: no, the animal did not want their life. He only wanted to cool off at the fountains in the park. Because Wally, as he was baptized, is not a wild, bloodthirsty alligator. He was adopted in September 2016 by Joie Henney, a 68-year-old crocodile rescuer who knows reptiles like no other.
Contacted by a friend living in Florida, he was moved by the disastrous fate that could have been that of the little animal, collected at the age of 14 months in a lagoon when he was only 50 centimeters tall. “There are a lot of alligators in this area. […] But in this state, they are considered harmful and are either euthanized or placed in captivity,” he told CNN. Joy then didn’t think long and agreed to take the little alligator home to Pennsylvania.
The gentle presence of the animal has supported Joie in her fight against cancer
For six years, man and animal have become the best friends in the world. “Wally is very different from any alligator I’ve come in contact with in the last thirty years. He hasn’t shown any aggression since the day he was captured. We’ve never been able to figure out why. He is just adorable. He sleeps with me, steals my pillows and my blankets, “explains Joie Henney, definitely under the spell.
Wally brings him so much happiness that he has officially applied for a license to register his scaled companion as an emotional support animal! The alligator was indeed a precious comfort when Joie underwent radiotherapy sessions to fight cancer.
Wally tops the Best Pet contest!
Having become a star on the networks, Wally no longer scares anyone. “People are really delighted and happy to meet him. […] Wally is the only alligator I know who refuses to bite. It’s hard to believe, but it’s the truth”, enthuses his master . And its notoriety is confirmed with each walk in the park. “The walkers rushed as soon as they heard that Wally was there. Everyone wanted to touch him, take a picture of him”, explains Joie who has only one wish: that Wally’s gentleness and benevolence make emulators.
He entered his friend into the America’s Favorite Pet contest, the American version of Best Pet. On his profile, the animal is displayed proudly with sunglasses and it is indicated that he loves to cuddle. This unique entry won over many voters, and the alligator currently ranks first in its category. Wally may not be aggressive, but he does have some bite.
Wally © INSTAGRAM PRESTONANDSTEVESHOW