Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich may be known for standing up to his political rivals, but he failed to win over a penguin at a zoo, and he has a bite mark to remind him.

Officials at the St. Louis Zoo said the GOP contender was on a paid private tour of the park Friday when he had a close encounter with a Magellanic penguin, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

"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, zoo public relations director, said in a statement. "A Band-Aid took care of the injury."

According to the publication, Gingrich was in town to speak at the National Rifle Association convention.

The former House speaker has visited several zoos on the campaign trail, including parks in Des Moines, Iowa; New Orleans; and San Diego.