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Man finds a friend in goose

  |   Feb. 19, 2011 at 4:00 AM
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles man said he befriended a goose that meets him in the park each morning and follows him around like a dog.

Dominic Ehrler, 65, a retired investor, said Maria the Goose began following him around Echo Park 10 months ago and she now meets him every day at 8 a.m. as he begins his walk around the lake to toss tortillas to the other birds, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

"When she first started following me around like a dog I got goose bumps," Ehrler said. "David Foster, one of the parks people here, finally introduced me to her. He said, 'You know you're being stalked! Her name is Maria.'"

Ehrler said Maria is very protective and will peck and bite at strangers who come too close to him. He said their daily encounters end with him riding off on his scooter and her following closely in the air until he circles back to the park and delays her with a fence.

"Oncoming motorists are always surprised. You can see their eyes get real big when they see Maria behind me. She's a big bird," he said.

Ehrler said he will follow Maria if the city follows through on plans to relocate her and the park's other geese while Echo Park is renovated.

"They're supposed to collect the birds and truck them to another lake. I plan to follow her there, because when you have a friend like this you don't want to lose her," he said.

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