According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Gingrich was in town last week to address the National Rifle Association and took a private tour of the St. Louis Zoo during which he visited with penguins in captivity.
That was when a penguin struck, biting his finger.
Gingrich told reporters in at the Nascar Hall of Fame in North Carolina later on Saturday that he had been bitten by the flightless bird and described himself, in another context, as “the last conservative standing,” according to MSNBC.
Gingrich has been seen sporting a bandage to cover the wound, according to The Associated Press.
Citing a zoo spokeswoman, The Post-Dispatch said Gingrich had also visited with snakes and seen exhibits entitled Big Cat Country and the Fragile Forest.
"During that visit, as Speaker Gingrich indicated in an interview with a national media outlet, he was nipped on the finger by a penguin," Susan Gallagher was quoted as saying in a statement. "A band-aid took care of the injury."
The Washington Post last year reported that Gingrich is a lifelong zoo enthusiast. He penned a forward to the 2008 book America’s Best Zoos.