Tiffany Alquiros with Peter the Anteater
Tiffany Alquiros, a first-year psychology student, poses with Santa Anteater in the bookstore. The free pictures were e-mailed to the students' accounts. Daniel A. Anderson / University Communications

Ho, ho, ho. Rip ’em ’Eaters.

It’s not a salutation you’ll hear ringing from the rooftops on Christmas Eve, but at the UCI Bookstore’s holiday sale this year, Peter the Anteater stood in for the jolly old elf, posing for pictures with students, faculty and staff. The fit and muscular Peter needed a little padding for his role as Santa, but was convincing enough to draw more than 150 fans for a photo op.

The free photos were sent immediately to participants’ e-mail accounts.

Peter was unavailable for comment, but bookstore marketing manager Steve Carter called the Dec. 4 event a success.

“This is the second year we’ve done this,” he said. “It worked out really well. One staff member even brought her baby to visit Peter.”

It appeared the baby was too young to wonder why, instead of a nose like a cherry, this Santa had a snout.