Sea World’s Henry begins his RAAF adventure
5 October 2015
Henry, the two-year-old Sea World polar bear, today met with Air Force pilots and crew, prior to his flight to Sydney.
Flying from the Gold Coast to Sydney in a Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules aircraft tomorrow, Henry’s relocation to the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat in Ontario, Canada, is part of conservation efforts to support polar bear breeding following the decline of the wild population.
Hercules pilot, Flight Lieutenant Conan Brett, said that is was a fantastic opportunity to be able to combine routine flying operations with such a special event as relocating Henry.
“It is a great honour for the RAAF to be able to assist Henry and contribute to the polar bear breeding program,” said Flight Lieutenant Brett.
“Usually we transport cargo or Defence personnel, so today is a very special opportunity to put our training to a unique use. I’ve flown thousands of passengers, but Henry will certainly be the most interesting passenger I have ever flown.”
As a Logistics Officer, Flying Officer Sarah Fraser’s duty is to ensure that all passengers and cargo are loaded onto the aircraft safely.
“We have some very special cargo indeed! Ensuring Henry’s safety on the flight will be a new experience and I am very excited,” Flying Officer Fraser said
“It can get quite cold at an altitude of 30,000 feet, so I’m sure Henry will feel right at home on the Hercules.”
Located at RAAF Base Richmond, the C-130J Hercules is able to carry up to 20 tonnes of cargo or over 128 passengers, and are capable of dropping supplies and parachuting personnel. Today the aircraft will have just one very special passenger.
Images will be available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20152759
Defence Media – (02) 6127 1999
Mitchell Olivey – Sea World – 0403 279 973