Night comes again and Pi sinks into despair. He notices that the water is full of mako sharks and other fish. Orange Juice also gazes out into the water, her expression mournful. She looks human again, but this time tragically so. Pi realizes that she is looking for her lost sons just as he has been searching for his family, and he grows more depressed.
Orange Juice’s humanity is no longer comedic, but only emphasizes Pi’s own tragic situation. He too is looking for his lost family, but he has been clinging to a foolish hope that the orangutan seems to have given up.
Suddenly the hyena attacks the zebra and pulls off a big piece of the its hide. The zebra kicks at the hyena but cannot stop it. The hyena slides into the zebra’s wound and starts eating its insides while the zebra is still alive. Orange Juice lifts herself up and roars at the hyena, baring her teeth. The hyena cringes but then faces her and howls. The zebra snorts some blood overboard and sharks gather.
Just as with the tiger and goat, Pi again witnesses the savagery of wild animals when they are faced with danger or thrown out of their natural territories. Even Orange Juice the peaceful orangutan seems to suddenly lose her “humanity” and become a dangerous animal.
Orange Juice and the hyena keep bellowing, their cries growing louder and louder. Then the standoff suddenly ends and they both retreat. The sharks eventually swim away too, but the zebra suffers on. Pi is horrified by all this. He finally acknowledges that his family is probably dead, and he sinks into despair. He spends the night weeping as the hyena eats.
The zebra now shows the extreme, often unreasonable will to survive. It has no chance of outlasting this ordeal and must be in excruciating pain, but it keeps on breathing. All this savagery has extinguished Pi’s fantasy of hope, and he accepts that he is totally alone.