R.I.P. Mario — the most famous goose of Echo Park Lake

Photo by Jamie Pham/Courtesy L.A. Zoo

Echo Park —  The bossy, loyal and lovable Echo Park Lake goose named Mario — aka Maria — has died at his home at the L.A. Zoo.

A zoo spokesman said Mario, a domestic Toulouse, passed away on June 29, due to old age.  Mario was removed from the lake and taken to the zoo seven years ago after he became a media darling.

Mario — who was widely known as Maria until the zoo determined that she was a he —  waddled to fame after being featured in an OK Go music video. His popularity soared after CBS News and other media outlets told the story about how Mario had been befriended by a man name Dominic Ehrler.

“She thinks that she owns me,” Ehrler told CBS News. “The other geese are not allowed to be near me on account of Maria.”

The L.A. Zoo in a statement said that Mario was a community favorite. “Mario was an animal that brought joy to many Angelenos, and he will be missed.”

Mario being visited by friend Dominic Ehrler (center) at the L.A. Zoo. Photo by Christine Peters

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  1. This was always such a memorable and warm-hearted story! When I was at the Lotus Festival this weekend, I was telling a friend visiting LA about Maria/Mario and Dominic. Perhaps EP Lake could erect some sort of statue of them…….they certainly are an important and charming part of the lake history!

  2. Sandy Driscoll, that is an EXCELLENT idea !!! I am going to bring it up to CD 13, and see if we can make the monument happen. Let me know if you would like to participate in the discussion?

    • Sure, Tracy! You may contact me privately. Thanks so much!! The ‘memorial’ could represent all of the beautiful wildlife in and around EP Lake! Visitors need to know about these things, and they also need to know about what to feed and what not to feed. I saw many people (adults & kids) dropping stuff into the water for the turtles, birds, ducks, etc., much of which simply was not healthy. It could be a great start for a campaign of awareness to care for the wildlife. It all starts with the kids – and could be a wonderful educational tool!

  3. But toulouse geese live between 20 and 30 years, what happened to this little guy to die so young? I am so sad

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