Peter the Anteater giving students a hug
Peter the Anteater is never shy with a hug. His giant heart earned him the number four spot in the nation on the Reader's Digest list of most lovable mascots. Steve Zylius / University Communications

Let’s hear it for that big lovable lug of a mascot, Peter the Anteater.

In the “Best of America” May issue of Reader’s Digest, Peter scored as the fourth most lovable mascot in the nation behind the Purple Cow, Williams College; the Fighting Pickle, University of North Carolina School of the Arts; and the Blue Blob, Xavier University.

UC Irvine fans might question whether the blob has the proper standing; technically the blob plays second string behind Xavier’s primary mascot, D’Artagnan, the Musketeer.

And a pickle? Really?

Now, a purple cow does present some real competition when it comes to milking the spotlight, but can a moo compete with a Zot!? We think not.

We’re ready for a rematch in next year’s “Best of America” issue, and Reader’s Digest seems committed to the idea.

“There is so much to celebrate in America,” said Peggy Northrop, global editor-in-chief, “and in this challenging economic climate, it’s important to remember the people, places and things that make our country so unique and wonderful.”

Zot! to that.