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Famous goose Maria found to be Mario

UPI News Service, 03/04/2011 

A Los Angeles goose famous for flying alongside a frequent visitor's motor scooter has been renamed from Maria to Mario.

The Los Angeles Zoo, which took custody of the bird ahead of a two-year renovation project at Echo Park Lake, said its experts determined Maria the Goose was actually Mario the Gander, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

"He's Mario now. But I'll call him Maria if he doesn't respond to Mario," said Dominic Ehrler, 65, whose daily visits to the park included riding his scooter side-by-side with the flying goose.

Ehrler said Mario was taken to the zoo instead of the fenced-off corner of Echo Park where most of the geese are now located due to fears for the safety of the now-famous bird.

Ehrler said he made a visit to his friend at the zoo Monday and the goose "was fine, but seemed disoriented."

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