One of the most rare and unique inhabitant you might meet or hear about at your adventurous trekking and mountaineering in Crete, is the Cretan ibex or goat known as Kri kri.
The Cretan wild goat is a real survivor living on steep rocks and cliffs of the Cretan mountains. Its ancestor, according to scientists, was introduced to Crete in a wild form from Asia, nearly ten thousand years ago. Afterwards, it came in contact with the domesticated goats and from the reproduction of the two species was born the Cretan Kri Kri goat. Kri Kri goat can only be found in Crete. Characterized by its unreachable beauty, speed and intelligence and known as loyal and brave as few animals, Kri-Kri is a unique endemic animal on the island. The Minoans had given to its horns some particular aspects of sanctity. As animals, they are shy and avoid humans, resting during the day, while in their social organization females live in herds of up to 20 members and males tend to live lonely. Kri kri goat starring as a true heroin in traditional folk music songs (Rizitika), the free and wild that cannot be tamed. It is so much honourable because apart from its extraordinary leap and climb, is an endangered animal pushed to the edge of extinction. During the past centuries, it lived on almost the entire island, but the merciless and unceasing hunting since the beginning of the last century has driven it out of many areas and dramatically reduced the population. Its last shelter is the tops of the White Mountains in western Crete, particularly in a series of almost vertical rocks that exceed 900 meters, in the Samaria Gorge. Nowadays, the exact number of its population is unknown and only by estimation they are believed to be about 700 alive. * Since 1962 the national park and deep gorge Samaria is under protection as the home and shelter of kri kri goat.
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