The owner of a lion cub that escaped and was captured near Maniwaki, about two hours north of Ottawa, says he wants the exotic animal back.

"Boomer" -- who is reportedly a Barbary lion, a rare species that only exists in captivity -- is now staying at the Granby Zoo, near Montreal.

His original owner Denis Day -- who lives in Cobden, a small community in the Township of Whitewater Region in the Ottawa Valley -- says he has a permit to keep the lion and has talked to a lawyer about regaining custody of "Boomer."

Day's girlfriend Sonia told CTV Ottawa the lion had been living in the family's home since it was three days old.

When one of the three children in the family reportedly spoke about the lion in school, Child Protective Services officials were alerted. CTV Ottawa learned the family was told by officials that keeping the lion was unacceptable and posed a danger to the children.

That's when Stanley Dumas Whiteduck, a friend in Maniwaki, was contacted. He was asked to "lion sit" for the family until they could find an appropriate home for "Boomer."

Whiteduck reportedly brought the animal to the community two days before the six-month-old cat escaped from its pen Tuesday night. The lion was caught by police officers at 12:45 a.m. on Thursday after a woman reported seeing it walking along Highway 105.

It is unclear whether Whiteduck will be charged for keeping the lion without a permit. Keeping a lion illegally can carry a fine of up to $500.