Henry the polar bear is settling in well at his new home in Cochrane. The 700 lbs bear was moved from Australia to the Polar Bear Habitat two weeks ago today. Marine Scientist and Henry’s handler Nora Tenbrock says the habitat takes some getting used to, with different enclosures and a different climate. She says they haven’t seen any adverse reaction to the weather, but it hasn’t hit any extreme temperatures yet. Henry has had a taste of winter, experiencing his first real snowfall since being here, after only seeing fake snow that was made in Australia.

Tenbrock says Cochrane is the perfect environment for Henry and his future development. She says he is a very important bear for the international breeding program, and bringing him to northern Ontario is the best possible outcome for everyone.

Tenbrock traveled with Henry to Cochrane to make sure the transition went smoothly and to help get him used to his new home. Henry is out for the public to see intermittently, and they won’t try introducing him to Ganuk until a quarantine period is over, and he gets bigger. She says the introductions will be slow and controlled. First, they will let the two bears see each other through the fence. Then if that goes well with no aggression, the next step will have the two meet in a controlled environment, and then eventually they will be able to spend more time together in one enclosure.

Photo: The crate Henry travelled in from Australia. Supplied by the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat.

Photo: The crate Henry travelled in from Australia. Supplied by the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat.