Sharks swim by the lifeboat every day – makos, blue sharks, and whitetips. The first shark Pi catches is a four-foot mako. He grabs its tail as it is swimming by and pulls it aboard, and immediately throws it into Richard Parker’s territory. Richard Parker starts striking the shark with his paws, and he accidentally gets bitten. This reminds Pi that the tiger can make mistakes, and it isn’t a perfect creature. Richard Parker roars in pain and rips the shark apart. After that Pi kills the sharks himself when he catches them.
As usual, Pi describes the first time he did something different – like catching a shark – and after that this new method of surviving is subsumed into his routine. Richard Parker is not God, though Pi has been viewing him as almost infallible in his power and grace.