Newt nipped by zoo penguin, gets Band-Aid

ST. LOUIS Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:51pm EDT

Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gestures during during his victory speech at his South Carolina Primary election night rally in Columbia, South Carolina, January 21, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gestures during during his victory speech at his South Carolina Primary election night rally in Columbia, South Carolina, January 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - Things have not been going all that well for Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich lately, even at one of his favorite places - the zoo.

Newt was nipped on the finger by a penguin during a private tour of the famous St. Louis zoo on Friday before he spoke to the National Rifle Association convention, zoo officials confirmed on Monday.

Gingrich, who is trailing in the Republican race for the White House and is under pressure to withdraw, passed unscathed through Big Cat Country and avoided contact with the crocodiles in the Herpetarium. But his visit took a turn when a Magellanic penguin pecked at the candidate's hand.

"He was nipped on the finger by a penguin," zoo public relations director Susan Gallagher said. "A Band-Aid took care of the injury."

Gingrich vowed he would not shun zoos. "Newt is a zoo fan. He will be back," spokesman R. C. Hammond said.

The zoo allows people on private tours to get "up close and personal" with the birds.

Gingrich has made a habit of visiting zoos while running for president and wrote the forward for "America's Best Zoos: A Travel Guide for Fans & Families."

(Editing by Greg McCune and Cynthia Osterman)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
pbug wrote:
Maybe the penguin thought that the very slimy newt was competing with it for fish!

Apr 17, 2012 12:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JoePublic wrote:
The “penguins” in Washington don’t care for him, either.

Apr 19, 2012 12:48am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

A tourist takes a plunge as she swims at Ngapali Beach, a popular tourist site, in the Thandwe township of the Rakhine state, October 6, 2013. Picture taken October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun (MYANMAR - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3FOI0

Where do you want to go?

We look at when to take trips, budget considerations and the popularity of multigenerational family travel.   Video