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Tecumseh man building peace sanctuary around pet bear

TECUMSEH, Okla. - 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.

“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.

You can find more information on Bowser’s Peace Sanctuary here.