The agriculture ministry on Wednesday unveiled a scheme to protect farmers whose crops were damaged by mouflons.

The grant also helps finance farmers to install fences around their land to prevent mouflons from causing future damage.

Though the Cyprus mouflon is a strictly protected species on the island, it is an inveterate crop muncher and can severely affect the farmers’ work.

The announcement released by the agriculture ministry specified that the grant has a double aim, namely a certain degree of compensation for damaged crops and a grant towards the fencing of lands in areas where mouflons roam freely.

People will be able to apply for the grant scheme until September 15 by providing the necessary documentation to their local district agricultural office, the agriculture ministry has added.

The endemic mouflon species is unique to Cyprus and found only within the mountainous state forest of Paphos. It is Cyprus’ biggest mammal and is a protected species since their population is estimated to be at around 3,000 animals.

It is believed to be descended from wild sheep brought over to the island from Asia by the prehistoric people who lived here around 9000-8000 B.C.

A curious incident involving the protected animal took place two years ago, when photos of a mouflon visiting a coffee shop in the mountain village of Kambos went viral on social media.