Building Peace Sanctuary — KFOR

TECUMSEH, Okla. May 26, 2018  [transcript of KFOR story]

– Bowser is a 6-year-old black bear. He stands 6 feet 6 inches when standing and weighs around 550 pounds. And, he’s Stanton Pace’s pet.

In fact, Bowser has been a part of Pace’s family since he was just a little cub.“I didn’t go looking for a bear. I went to go look at the farm to look at some other animals and I saw they had bears,” said Pace.

Pace says he’s loved bears since he was young, so when those bears on the farm had cubs, he got Bowser.

“Bowser is a life-changing dream come true,” said Pace.

Pace says Bowser has helped him through life’s challenges, including battles with drugs and alcohol and even rage.

“When I sit in nature or I sit out here by my red wing blackbird pond, that I call it, or I watch Bowser just be and I sit under this tree, some kind of truth starts to open up,” said Pace.

On Saturday, friends and family volunteered their time to build Bowser a bigger pen.

“To expand his habitat where he can have access to a pond and a bigger area and to kind of have the opening of our Peace Sanctuary,” said Pace’s wife, Shana Pace.

It will now be known as Bowser’s Peace Sanctuary.

Pace wants to share Bowser’s gift with others.

“Now that you know we’ve kind of had this vision of the peace sanctuary, it’s about helping people; people that may be the next shooter,” said Pace.

“This is his summer pose. Where he loves to get brushed. Want me to get under your arm?” said Pace to Bowser as he brushed him in his pen.

Pace brushes Bowser and uses that hair to share Bowser’s spirit.

Bowser’s Spirit Fur bracelets

“It takes about 5 months to get all of this off of him and we then turn that into his gifted spirit bracelet,” said Pace.

It’s a unique and spiritual connection between man and bear that Pace hopes can reach its healing beyond Bowser’s new pen.

Bowser to Get a New Home — Shawnee News-Star

Posted May 16, 2018 at 9:09 AM

Bowser will be getting a new home soon.

His owner, Stanton Pace, always wanted to increase the size of Bowser’s living quarters, but now his plan is officially coming to fruition.

“If I could, I would fence in the whole 20 acres and go interact with him,” Pace said. “Allowing Bowser to experience nature and watching him just be a bear in a much bigger environment will be an amazing experience.”

Bowser’s current home is around 4,000 square feet with six trees and a pool. His new home will be roughly 50,000 square feet with a real pond, a hill to climb and a more natural den dug into the hillside.

“This new enclosure will allow Bowser to experience several different environments within the same area,” Pace said. “The connection I made with Bowser and his spirit led me to making his home bigger.”

One of the new additions to Bowser’s new sanctuary will be free visits and a safe place for those who wish to experience nature and meet a friendly Black Bear. Along with the new home, there will be several picnic tables and benches for those who want some peace and quiet in nature.

“We have never turned anyone away as long as they call ahead and make sure I’m here,” Pace said. “When Bowser’s new home is complete, we will offer a judgement free place for those who want to share Bowser’s amazing spirit.”

Along with Bowser, Pace has two horses, two American Bison and a pack of Great Danes that can be found roaming around the property and a few Redwing Blackbirds that call the cattails in the pond home.

“This is not only a place to come experience the spirit of these magnificent animals, but we want to provide a safe place for anyone who is hurting, depressed, overwhelmed, or feels like the world is crashing in on them,” Pace said. “I will never turn anyone away that wants to connect with nature or that simply needs someone to talk to.”

When first throwing around the idea of opening up a place for people to come and be with nature, Pace will admit he was scared.

“I started off with a sense of fear, thinking I needed to guard people from Bowser,” Pace said. “After I let go of that fear and realized that Bowser has a special gift and an amazing spirit, I knew we needed to do something to share that with people who need him the most.”

Pace is recovering from a battle with addiction and wants to help those going through similar situations to know they always have a place to go if they need someone to talk to or just get away from the day-to-day struggle.

“As a person in recovery, I don’t want anyone to feel the despair that I went through,” Pace said. “There’s no greater truth than coming out in nature. Compassion alone can change a person’s life and that’s what we want to offer here. We are not counselors, therapists, or tied to any group or medical facility. If you ask we can direct you to someone that knows more than us about treatment.”

On Saturday, May 26, at 9 a.m. Pace and a group of volunteers will begin adding fencing, pathways, benches, garden beds and improving Bowser’s pen for his comfort.