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Kri-kri

The Kri-kri (Capra aegagrus creticus), sometimes called the Cretan goat, Agrimi, or Cretan Ibex, is a subspecies of wild goat. The Kri-kri is native to the Eastern Mediterranean, now found only on the island of Crete, Greece and three small islands just offshore (Dia, Thodorou and Agii Pandes). The Kri-kri is not thought to be indigenous to Crete, but was imported during the time of the Minoan civilization. Nevertheless, it is found nowhere else and the form is therefore endemic to Crete.

The Kri-kri is impressive-looking, with a light brownish coat with a darker band around its neck. It has two horns swept back from the head. In the wild, they are shy and rest during the day. They avoid tourists and can leap some distance or climb seemingly sheer cliffs. Their grazing grounds have become scarcer and disease has affected them. Hybridization is also a threat, as their gene pool is mingled with ordinary goats.

By 1960, the Kri-kri was under threat with numbers below 200. It had been the only meat available to mountain guerillas during the German occupation in World War II. Its status was one of the reasons for the Samaria Gorge becoming a national park in the early 1960s. There are still only about 2,000 animals on the island and they are considered vulnerable. Hunting them is strictly prohibited.

Kri-kri


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