There are a handful of animals native to Crete but no animal is more famous (or dear) to the Cretans than the Kri Kri mountain goat. Originally thought to have been transported millennia ago from Persia, the Kri Kri is now considered to be native. It is no surprise to anyone familiar with the Cretans that they identify so much with the tough, independent spirit of this animal. Now a protected species, Samaria gorge and a couple of tiny Cretan islands have been declared habitat sanctuaries for the goat.
As for native mammals to the island there are only two – the Cretan Shrew and the Cretan Spiny Mouse - neither of which are likely to draw huge numbers of tourists to the island but are nevertheless part of the island's historical wildlife.