Meet Olympia the orca, a true beauty of the seas! This ladylike marine mammal gets her name from the Greek city ‘Olympia,’ home to the first Olympic games. Olympia shares many of her qualities with a typical competitive athlete. She is brave, strong, and fast! Much like an athletic runner, Olympia is very nimble in the water – with the potential to swim at over 30 miles an hour!

Despite commonly being known as a ‘killer whale,’ Olympia is not a whale at all, and is one of the largest members of the dolphin family. In addition, her gentle nature means she couldn’t be further from a killer the vast majority of the time, unless you are her typical prey, which includes fish, squid, and even seals! As one of the older female orcas, the responsibility falls on Olympia to look after the other orcas in her pod, which could contain up to 15 members! This involves leading her family to food and safety. Olympia will carry this responsibility until the end, which could take her all the way to 90 years old!

Sadly, being at the top of the food chain doesn’t guarantee an easy life for Olympia, as overfishing and habitat disturbance (such as underwater noise and restrictive constructions like dams) means that orcas are endangered.

Illustration by Tom Levesley

Rapz® Natural World
Orca web

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