See What Happens When Man Attempts to Bring an Alligator to a Baseball Game

Written by Hannah Crawford
Updated: October 26, 2023
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Breaking News: On Wednesday, 27, 2023, a Phillies baseball fan was denied entry into the game when he tried to bring his emotional support alligator with him.

We are truly amazed at all that animals can do. Not only for who they are but also for how they help us as humans in our lives. And for animals who bring us comfort, we typically think of dogs or cats. Well, one man in Pennsylvania grew a bond with an alligator and tried to take it with him to a game. That’s right, a baseball game.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that on Wednesday, 27,2023, Phillies fan Joie Henney was headed to the Citizens Bank Park to attend the baseball game. Only he decided to bring his alligator with him. When questioned about it, he stated that this was his emotional support animal. Needless to say, he was denied entry. While service animals are welcome at Phillies games, only service animal pets are allowed. And, well, alligator emotional support animals just aren’t one of them. 

What is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?

Emotional Support Animals

Any domesticated animal can be considered an emotional support animal (ESA.)

©Lucia Romero/

It can be easy to confuse emotional support animals with service animals, but they are quite different. This is largely why this man’s request to enter this stadium was denied. Let’s take a look at the difference between these two kinds of animals that provide services to people. 

According to UMass Medical School, “An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an animal that provides a therapeutic benefit (e.g., emotional support, comfort, companionship) to a person with a mental health or psychiatric disability (such as a serious mental health condition).”

They go on to describe in detail that an emotional support animal should not be confused with a service animal under United States law. A service dog is defined as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” 

How Many Alligators Are in Pennsylvania?

Regardless of what type of service this alligator provided, it’s crazy to think that someone tried to bring one around other people! 

The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) of the genus Alligator can be quite large. They can weigh anywhere from 400-800 pounds (181-363 kilograms). And they can reach heights of 8-15 feet (2.5 centimeters – 4.5 meters) in length. And while we know this alligator in the tweet above wasn’t that large, it just goes to show us how large they can truly get. 

It is estimated there are some four million alligators in the United States. The states with the highest population are Louisiana and Florida. However, with the abundance of population, we would assume there would be some in Pennsylvania, right? Well, actually, no. Pennsylvania does not house any known alligators. It is estimated that any alligators that are found are typically because they are a result of exotic pet ownership.

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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