Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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Speaking of Maria

Maria at the L.A. Zoo.

Echo Park's golden gray goose has been "on display" at the L.A. Zoo for some three or so weeks now. He has had his wings clipped and shares children's-zoo quarters with an elderly donkey. There's no plaque, so as far as most visitors know, the big, bold gray goose is simply what he appears to be -- and not the media star known for his close relationship with Dominic Ehrler, an Echo Park resident whose daily walks with Maria at Echo Park Lake made them both famous.

Dominic reports that Maria is doing well. He says:

I miss the walks and flying but know that my friend is safe and well taken care of. I see him nearly every morning and I help him with his bath by splashing water over his head.. His lake is now very tiny now...a child's splash pool and he needs a bit of help. Maria seems to get his kicks by chasing Odie the Donkey around. Poor Odie.

I visited the zoo recently with Dominic and was moved to see Maria run toward Dominic when we arrived. An anonymous donor gave him a two-year-pass to the zoo, and Dominic has entry rights into the enclosure -- while he was behind the fence Maria made sure Odie didn't get a chance to get anywhere near. One of the zoo employees told me the gander probably livens things up -- in a good way -- for the donkey. And for his public as well.

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