Wells Fargo Center got a special visit from an interesting creature on Monday.
An alligator, made famous by being denied entrance to a Philadelphia Phillies game last month, was in attendance for the Flyers’ matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Phillies may not have let the emotional support alligator in, but the Flyers did 🤣
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) October 30, 2023
Wally Gator is a working emotional support animal owned by Joie Henney, of Jonestown, Pennsylvania. Henney told The Philadelphia Inquirer last year that the prehistoric-looking pet helps him battle depression and even “likes to give hugs.”
Believe it or not, Henney has proof of that latter statement on Wally Gator’s Instagram account. On that account Wally can be seen donning sunglasses, being walked on a leash, and, yes, getting hugs from children.
Given that it was a Flyers game, Gritty eventually got involved in the madness. Turns out that whatever life form that Gritty is makes fast friends with alligators.
The famed team mascot, donning an astronaut costume for Halloween, appeared on the jumbotron holding the alligator up like a in-his-prime Steve Irwin during the team’s Lion King cam segment.
Someone gave Gritty an alligator. Y’know, just normal hockey stuff pic.twitter.com/vC8mIGVP5k
— Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) October 30, 2023
Parents usually hold up their small children during the feature as “Circle Of Life” echoes around the arena. So, the sight of a giant, orange, furry humanoid in full Moon-landing gear holding a friendly gator on the big screen at a professional ice hockey game drew a big reaction from those in attendance.
What the fuck is going on pic.twitter.com/ZPFGQQGXoE
— Gators Daily 🐊 (@GatorsDaily) October 30, 2023
After making his Flyers jumbotron debut during a break in play, Wally Gator took some time out of his apparent busy sports fan schedule to pose for some photos with his new, large buddy.
Gritty, of course, got one of Wally’s famous hugs before parting ways.
Headline photo via @GrittyNHL/X
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