Where's Wally? US Man's TikTok famous emotional support alligator is missing

Thousands of fans follow Joie Henney's social media pages devoted to Wally, the emotional support alligator.

A US man says his emotional support alligator named Wally has gone missing during a holiday.

Thousands of fans follow Joie Henney’s social media pages devoted to Wally, who he credits for helping relieve his depression.

But Mr Henney has been left distraught after Wally vanished while accompanying him on a holiday to the state of Georgia.

He said he suspects someone stole Wally from the fenced, outdoor enclosure where he spent the night on April 21.

In social media posts, Mr Henney said pranksters left Wally outside the home of someone who called authorities, resulting in his alligator being trapped and released into the wild.

“We need all the help we can get to bring my baby back,” Mr Henney said in a tearful video posted on TikTok. “Please, we need your help.”

No one has filed police reports about the missing alligator in the nearby area, according to the city and county police departments.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources confirmed someone in the area where the pair had been holidaying reported a nuisance alligator on April 21 – the day Mr Henney said Wally went missing.

A licensed trapper was dispatched to capture it and the gator was “released in a remote location.”

But the department stressed that it doesn’t know if the reptile was Wally.

Mr Henney regularly posted photos and videos online of people petting and hugging the 1.6 metre alligator.

He mas more than 1.4 million followers on TikTok at the time of writing.

Wally’s popularity soared to new heights last year when the gator was denied entry to a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game.

Support pets are not the same as service animals. There’s not much regulation about what constitutes an emotional support pet in the US.

Emotional support animals are not formally trained to perform any specific task for their owners. Instead, they can provide comfort to people dealing with mental health symptoms and emotional concerns ranging from depression and anxiety to loneliness.

A small 2021 study found that people with diagnosed mental health or psychiatric disorders experienced a statistically significant decrease in depression, anxiety, and loneliness after getting emotional support animals.

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