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Oops! Maria the goose is actually a Mario

Goose Maria the Goose, who became a media sensation last month when photographed flying alongside an Echo Park Lake visitor’s motor scooter, turns out to be Mario the Gander.

Experts at the Los Angeles Zoo made that discovery after city officials arranged to have the graylag fowl relocated there to make way for an upcoming park renovation project, goose benefactor Dominic Ehrler said Thursday.

The newly renamed Mario will remain in quarantine at the zoo for 30 days before being put on public display, Ehrler said. The gander was moved from Echo Park because animal activists feared harm might befall him because his newfound fame, Ehrler said.

“He’s Mario now. But I’ll call him Maria if he doesn’t respond to Mario,” said Ehrler, 65, who fed the goose tortillas daily at the park before leading the bird on his scooter down Park Avenue.

Other geese –- and ganders -- at Echo Park Lake will be placed in a fenced-off corner of the park during the lake’s upcoming draining. The park makeover will take two years and cost $64.7 million. Earlier, officials had considered relocating the birds to other city park lakes.

“I saw her Monday at the zoo,” Ehrler said of his friend. “She was fine, but seemed disoriented.”

Probably from suffering an identity crisis.

-- Bob Pool

RELATED:

A match of man and goose

Photo: Dominic Ehrler and Maria/Mario before the gander's move to the L.A. Zoo. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (9)

Who in their right mind approved this project? Is this the right time for a park make-over?? Come on!! I am sure there are other more beneficial projects the public can get more out of.

lets just hope that the lil critter survives the hands of the zoo keepers and is moved BACK to a SAFE place to live!!!!!

That's one photogenic gander!

Why Mario or Maria? should have named it Fritz or Dietrich

Only in LA. West LA to be exact.

What's good for Goose is good for the Gander.

Borchy, your name should be bitchy!

I am just curious if Maria is still able to see Mr. Dominic Ehrler everyday like at the Park? Is it still within an easy scooter drive for Mr. Ehrler. I was very touched by this story and would be very sad if the two strange bedfellows could not keep up their relationship...love knows know bounds. It is nice in these times of turmoil to see such a beautiful story.

Ty

I think it is very sad and wrong to move Mario from his home. Even though they think they are protecting him, he is no longer free to rome the territory his is used to. If we tried to protect everyone, and everything from harm, we would all be locked up. If he does not respond favorably to this move, he should be allow to go home.


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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