Here’s one thing you might not know about Newt Gingrich: the man is bonkers about zoos. He loves ‘em! He even wrote the forward to a book called “America’s Best Zoos: A Travel Guide for Fans & Families.” Then again, Newt has written something like 10 books during his political life across a wide range of interests, ranging from historical novels about Gettysburg and George Washington to titles like “Rediscovering God in America” and “Saving Lives, Saving Money.” But when he’s on the campaign trail Newt frequently enjoys visiting zoos—apparently it’s a bit of a passion.
Yesterday he was taking a private tour of the St. Louis zoo before a speaking engagement for the National Rifle Association (you can’t make this stuff up), when a penguin bit him on the finger.
[Gingrich] 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.
Reuters also notes that Gingrich is facing pressure to drop out of the presidential race, facing near-impossible odds and with his campaign apparently so broke they bounced a $500 check. They say some animals can sniff vulnerability, like a shark smelling blood in the water. Maybe that’s what got the penguin going?