An Echo Park goose out of water

The Los Angeles Zoo sent over the above photo of Maria the Echo Park Lake goose after she was driven from Echo Park to a new temporary home at the zoo.  The Chicken Corner blog reported on Monday that Maria was moved to the zoo as a protective measure  in light of the bird’s increasing popularity. Maria, who waddled to fame after being featured in an OK Go music video last year, is scheduled to be quarantined for 30 days in the zoo hospital as part of what is expected to be a two-year-long stay as Echo Park Lake is drained and cleaned up.

It’s not clear where the above photo was taken or what Maria thinks of the carpeting under webbed foot after spending years on the park’s crumbling paths and lawns. “When she’s done with quarantine she’ll be making her home elsewhere in the Zoo, though it hasn’t been decided exactly where yet, said a spokeswoman.

Photo courtesy L.A. Zoo


  1. Does anyone know if there’s a firm date for actually draining the lake? Everyone should get out there and take pictures/have one last picnic before the lake goes on hiatus! 🙁 (though I’m interested to see what they uncover at the bottom when they drain it…)

  2. I hope that Dominic will come to see her every day, because she’s probably feeling pretty displaced just now.

  3. I know they had little choice but to move her, but this still makes me really sad. Hope she lives long enough to return to the lake when they finish the renovations.

  4. OK. We have a huge Echo Park picnic with the whole neighborhood before they drain the lake and then we caravan over to the zoo and toast to Maria. Anyone on board??? Serious!

  5. She sure is a handsome creature!

  6. So the lake has no date for draining and she was moved due to he “increasing popularity.” What does that mean – was someone threatening to steal her or what? More details, please.

  7. Carol– I think what they meant is that she’s been getting so much media attention, the chances of some idiot coming to the lake and doing something stupid (maybe tragic) to Maria had increased. And from everything I’ve heard, the lake renovation and draining begins next month.

  8. There won’t be too many interesting things at the bottom of the lake since they drained it yearrrssss ago .Maybe 20 ?
    It is not the first time they have drained the lake .
    Out of curiosity we walked down when they first drained it . We found old bottles , coca cola etc.. A ring a suitcase , people were digging up lotus roots (not cool) , it was crazy .
    It was like a wild ,muddy scavenger hunt .
    I doubt this time people will climb into that mucky mess after it is drained or that the city would allow that .
    I’m surprised no one mentioned the previous draining .

    Good luck Maria .

  9. Lake was drained in 1984, some boys went in and got stuck. As a history fan I shudder to think of what was dredged out and lost — bottles, boats, etc. Guns.

    There was a quirky fellow who went into MacArthur Park lake when it was drained and cleaned, and he came up with tons of fascinating stuff. He displayed it on boards at the (defunct) L.A. Street Scene, north side of City Hall lawn. He had wonderful toy boats, sail and electric, all manner of vintage bottles and many, many pistols. Some were western six shooters, rusty but recognizable; others seemed more recent. All were taken by LAPD as possible evidence and never returned.

    I don’t knwo what to this fellow and his collection. He was one of those characters who coiuld well have been an antique picker, or seller at flea mkts.

  10. …don’t know what happened to this fellow and his collection….

  11. @Darrell. I don’t remember it being boys who got stuck. I remember that it was a couple of Vietnamese men who went in trying to get the freshwater mussels. Both got stuck waist deep in the sludge, and both had to be rescued by the Fire Department. The L.A. Street Scene was the bomb, until a few gangbangers messed it all up. I was on Temple & Hill St. watching the L.A. Dreamteam up front & center, when a banger shot a rival in the crowd right in front of everyone. He layed there as everyone ran in panic, and we lost view of a few friends. We found our friends, and then everything calmed down, but then the LAPD sent in the riot patrol to cleared out each street, one at a time. Everyone ran in panic again, but this time we all had a plan to grab each others arm if something happened, and the plan worked, and no one got lost. That was the last time that they had the event. It was 100 times better than The Sunset Juction, and it was a much larger venue. Best of all it was free. By the way it would be great if someone could get Cache to paint a pic of Maria on one of the walls accross the steet from the park. I think the stairs where the old Olympic mural is on Glendale Blvd. would be best, since that artist messed up his own mural, and made then street look worst.

  12. I wish people were concerned about the other animals as well. Turtles in particular do not seem on the radar of the city. I hope someone will rescue them as well. And what about the other birds?

  13. The men you mention could have been in there, but the boys story is def real, I looked it up when I was researching lake for a story. Must have smelled like holy hell in there.

  14. The stories were in the old Parkside Journal, that used to be delivered in EP. They went under in 1987. That was really sad, because it had interesting articles about EP. I’m glad that we now have The Eastsider LA, for our local news. I found your old story on your fishing buddies, in the L.A. Times. Really nice.

  15. James of Echo Park

    What will happen to all of Echo Park Lakes resident Birds, Fish, turtles and the wildlife that will be displace. I remember in 1984 when they drained the lake they just let all the fish go down the drain what a wast . The birds were left alone with nothing to feed on since the the water was removed and the lake was closed. I was reading up on Propostion O it sound like they have no plan for all of our resident animals. Looks like maria was one lucky goose she He has a place at the La zoo untill Propostion O project is done but what about the rest of his Family turtles, fish, bats, and other gooses were will they live. Echo Park is famous for displacing it residents. Maria dose not need any luck he has found a home. We need the media to know cover the other resident animals that live at echo park lake to if they can find home too.

    It is sad to see this lake go down the drain for 85 million taxpayer dollars we can put this money in to our libraries and recreation centers to keep them open for our communities such a wast and bad timing.

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