In Life of Pi, we see Pi's father put a live goat at the gate of Richard Parker's cage.

In one shot, the goat is tied standing outside the confinement that holds Richard Parker. We see the tiger approaching slowly before jumping onto the prey.

The the camera cuts to let us see the expressions of Pi's family.

Then the camera goes back to Richard Parker holding the goat in his teeth, without any evidence that the gate was opened and closed.

Is it possible that the goat was squeezed in between metal bars of the cage?

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    "Is it possible that the goat was squeezed in between metal bars of the cage?" Yes, Tiger is a strong and powerful animal and the bars are wide enough for the tiger to make the goat squeeze between the bars. My guess for not showing it in the movie is, It's a "PG" rated movie, so, no violence. Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 11:03

2 Answers 2


After rewatching the clip, it looks like the goat's shoulders are more narrow than the bars of the cage. Richard Parker would have easily been able to drag the goat through.

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    You don't see the goat's body? The gap of the bars was too narrow for the goat to fit through. The scene was obviously an oversight.
    – Bunch
    Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 15:06

I think that there are at least two possible answers here that would not require this scene to be an oversight, as stated in another reply... Before getting into that, though, it is interesting that this scene is represented quite differently in the movie than it is in the book. In the book, Santosh creates a deliberate lesson for Pi and Ravi--to teach them the dangers of anthropomorphizing the zoo animals; in the movie, it is an impromptu lesson done in reaction to Pi's "nose-poking." Also in the book, the tiger (not Richard Parker) is given free access to the goat, being allowed entry to the same chamber. So why make it different in the movie? The first possible answer is that it is magical realism: Richard Parker (tiger involved in the scene in the movie representation) just magically gets the goat through the bars. I don't like this one so much. What I think is going on is that it is showing the brutality of the tiger, in that it can rip the goat through the small openings in the bars by breaking all its bones...

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