Did Pi's parents die?

Pi's parents die during the main course of events in the story. Pi's father dies in the shipwreck, and his mother is most likely killed on the lifeboat.

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Pi's family owns a zoo in Pondicherry, India; the zoo means a great deal to Pi, who basically grew up surrounded by animals. After realizing that they can no longer live comfortably in India due to the instability of the political system, Pi's parents decide to close down the family...

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Pi's family owns a zoo in Pondicherry, India; the zoo means a great deal to Pi, who basically grew up surrounded by animals. After realizing that they can no longer live comfortably in India due to the instability of the political system, Pi's parents decide to close down the family zoo and move to Canada. Pi's father attempts to sell the animals to different zoos in North America, which proves to be a complicated process. Soon, Pi's family board the Japanese ship Tsimtsum, which is supposed to take them and the remaining zoo animals to Canada.

A horrible, violent storm suddenly forms in the Pacific Ocean, and the ship sinks without much explanation. Some of the crew members throw Pi in the ocean, not to save him but to use him as bait for the animals, while they try to abandon ship in the hopes of surviving and getting to shelter. Unfortunately, no one aside from Pi and some of the animals survive the shipwreck. All of the crew members, as well as Pi's mother and father, die in the sinking of the ship.

In the alternate version of the story—which Pi comes up with after he's informed that no one will believe him if he says that he survived a shipwreck and stayed on a boat with wild animals—the orangutan is really his mother, the hyena is the French cook, the zebra is the Japanese sailor, and the tiger is Pi himself. Pi then says that the cook (the hyena) killed his mother (the orangutan) and the sailor (the zebra), consuming the latter's flesh.

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