Kri-Kri or Cretan Goat or Agrimi or Cretan Ibex - The Anatomy
Jan 29, 2021
Dear friends, Crete Travellers,
more and more of you have asked me the last days about Crete’s most famous animal.
So here you are, all you have to know for the most famous "resident" of Crete.
The kri-kri (Capra aegagrus cretica) or Cretan goat, Agrimi, or Cretan Ibex, is a feral goat inhabiting the Eastern Mediterranean, previously considered a subspecies of wild goat.
The kri-kri is now found only on the island of Crete, Greece.
The Kri-Kri came very close to extinction at one point, but thanks to conservation efforts, their numbers have since increased to 2500.
Most of these live in and around the Samaria Gorge and some of the uninhabited satellite islands (Dia, Thodorou and Agii Pantes).
It is not clear if the Kri-Kri was introduced from Turkey in the early days of settlement or if they were there prior to humanity.
Recent DNA studies have shown that the Cretan wild goat is in effect a Neolithic ancestor of the domestic goat that has returned to the wild.
The kri-kri has a light brownish coat with a darker band around its neck. It has two horns that sweep back from the head.
In the wild they are shy and avoid humans, resting during the day. The animal can leap some distance or climb seemingly sheer cliffs.
Archaeological excavations have unearthed several depictions of the kri-kri. Some academics believe that the animal was worshiped during antiquity. On the island, males are often called 'agrimi' (Greek: αγρίμι, i.e. 'the wild one'), while the name 'sanada' (Greek: σανάδα) is used for the female.
The kri-kri is a symbol of the island, much used in tourism marketing and official literature.
All the best,