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An article about the Kri-Kri Goat and other unique Cretan animals

Cretan animals

Today we will talk about the unique Cretan animals. The majestic island of Crete, thanks to its immense size, its advantaged position right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and the diverse climatic conditions have resulted in a variety of wildlife habitats hosting some unique and fascinating species. It is not unusual for a Caretta Caretta turtle to be seen swimming close, or perhaps strolling out in the sand of a Cretan beach.

Perhaps the most famous endemic, feral animal of Crete is the wildgoat subspecies of the Kri Kri(Capra aegagrus cretica), sometimes called the Cretan goat, Agrimi, or Cretan Ibex, an iconic symbol of the mountainous Cretan regions, and for many the symbol of Crete itself. If you are lucky, you might have the rare opportunity to encounter a Kri Kri in the wild, probably climbing an impossibly steep cliff in the Samaria Gorge.

Another indigenous, rare Cretan mammal is the Fourogatos, or Cretan wildcat (Felis silvestris cretensis), a specimen so rare and elusive that its existence was not scientifically proven before 1996. Many encounters were claimed by the natives and even two hides were present, but the actual animal was considered a rural legend until it was first officially encountered in the wild just 20 years ago.

The Cretan shrew (Crocidura zimmermanni) is yet another indigenous mammal, exclusive to the island of Crete. A small, mouselike insectivore with a long sharp snout, resembling a hedgehog, it has been around for the past 1,5 million years; today you can only encounter it in the shrubland regions of the Psiloreitis and Dikti mountains.

All the Cretan animals mentioned above are currently considered as endangered species, and many wildlife organizations take action on the island in order to enforce adequate proper legislation and create protected habitats for this island’s unique and amazing fauna.

photo source: https://goo.gl/Z5vwjF