Kri Kri Goats
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About Kri Kri GoatsAbout Kri Kri Goats



rnThe Kri-kri, also known as the Cretan, Agrimi,rnor Cretan Ibex goat, are feral goats that are found in the Eastern Mediterranean,rnspecifically only the island of Crete andrnthree small islands just offshore (Dia,Thodorou, and Agii Pantes).


rnrnKri-kri Goats have a light-brownishrncoat with a darker band around their neck. They have two horns that sweep backrnfrom their head. In the wild they are shy and rest during the day. They canrnleap impressive distances and climb seemingly sheer cliffs.


rnrnKri-kri Goats are not thoughtrnto be indigenous to Crete. Most likely they were imported during the time ofrnthe Minoan civilization. However, they are now found nowhere else.


rnrnAs molecular analysesrndemonstrate, Kri-kri Goats are not, as previously thought, a distinctrnsubspecies of wild goat. Rather, they are a feral domestic goat, derived from the first stocks of goats domesticated inrnthe Levant and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean aroundrn8000-7500 BCE. Therefore, they represent a nearly ten thousand year-oldrn"snapshot" of the first domestication of goats.


rnrnArchaeological excavations have found several wall paintings of Kri-krirnGoats. Some academics believe that they were even worshiped. On the island,rnmales are often called agrimi (αγρίμι, the wild one), while the namernSanada is used for females. The Kri-kri is a symbol of the island, much usedrnin tourism marketing and official literature.


rnrnrnrnBy 1960, Kri-kri Goats werernunder threat. There were under 200 of them. They had been the only meatrnavailable to mountain guerillas during the German occupation in WorldrnWar II. There are still only about 2,000 Kri-kri Goatsrnon Crete and they are considered vulnerable: hunters still seek them for theirrntender meat, grazing grounds have become scarcer and disease has affected them.rnHybridization is also a threat, as the population has interbred with ordinaryrngoats. Hunting them is strictly prohibited.rnrn



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