Crowley Political Report is not sure what Scooter thought about his encounter with Newt Gingrich but it was clear that the potential presidential candidate was very impressed with Scooter, an Asian bearcat.
Gingrich was visting the Palm Beach Zoo getting a personal tour from Terry Maple. The two men are co-authors of the 2007 book Contract with the Earth that makes the case that government, industry and environmentalists need to team together to save the planet.
Crowley Political Report joined Gingrich on his tour of the zoo. Gingrich used the opportunity to meet with television reporters to talk about the need to protect endangered animals such as Malayan tigers (only about 300 left in the wild), koalas and other species.
"Part of the great purpose of zoos is to be a place to breed endangered species and give them a better chance to survive and go back into the wild," said Gingrich. "And part of the purpose of zoos is to introduce young people to the natural world and get them, hopefully, engaged in the idea that preserving this kind of variety and having this kind of experience is an important part of life."
"We want to have a world in which all the major species are still available in the wild for people to be able to go see them," said Gingrich.
Oz, the Palm Beach Zoo's male koala, seemed to take it all in stride.
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Photos by Lauren Lieberman / LILA PHOTO