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Also known as Cretan goat, Cretan Ibex or Agrimi, the Kri-kri is formerly considered as one of the subspecies of the Wild Goat. However, it is recently considered to be feral kind of the local or domestic goat in the Eastern Mediterranean. Besides Crete and Greece, it can only be found in three other small islands: Agii Pantes, Dia and Thodorou. Recently, they were also brought to two more islands.
They usually have a light brown coat. They also come with dark brown strip around the neck. They have two horns that curl back from their head. They are generally shy and they avoid populated areas. Preferring to rest during the day, they can be seen leaping around the area or climbing cliffs.
Imported during the Minoan civilization, the Kri-kri did not actually originate from Crete. However, it cannot be found anywhere but Crete nowadays. Their last known habitat were cliffs known as 'the Untrodden' which are located at the top of the Samaria Gorge which can reach the peaks of 8,000 ft (2,400 m). This mountain range hosts around 14 other native species and is considered a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Around 1960, this breed was endangered. They were numbered below 200. During World War II, the Kri-kris meat was the only meat available to mountain guerillas during the German occupation. In 1962, the Samaria Gorge became a national park because of the Kri-kris national status. The Kri-kri numbered around 2,000 vulnerable goats on Samaria and hunting the Kri-kri is prohibited, many hunters still seek the goats for their meat. They are seen less in their usual grazing grounds. Besides hunting, disease has also affected their numbers. Another threat is hybridization where is mingled with ordinary goats.
With several wall paintings of the Kri-kri found in archeological excavations, academics believe that they were worshiped on the Crete island during the ancient times. In Crete, males are usually called agrimi which means the wild one, while the females are called "Sanada". The Kri-kri goat is actually used as an island symbol by resorts and official literature, even though there are very few tourists or locals have ever seen a Kri-kri.
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