What is Mr. Patel's zoo keeping ability?

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Mr. Patel's enormous success as a zookeeper is due largely to his ability to understand the needs of animals. He operates a kind of tough love policy toward them, generally treating them with kindness and respect, but not being afraid to use discipline as and when he deems it necessary.

Mr. Patel is under no illusions about the danger and ferocity of wild animals, and he passes on this crucial lesson to his son, who will find it most valuable advice throughout the course of his epic journey. He's also at pains to point out that all animals, no matter how small or seemingly harmless, will defend themselves to the death if they're attacked. Mr. Patel illustrates the point by introducing an unfortunate goat to a half-starved tiger.

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Before becoming a zookeeper, Mr Patel ran a hotel. In Chapter 4, we learn, "An abiding interest in animals led him to the zoo business." So we can infer from this that Mr Patel was not trained as a zookeeper. However, he ran a zoo well and took care of the needs of the animals.

Mr Patel also knew two important concepts or misperceptions common to people visiting the animals in the zoo. The first one being how dangerous it is to give the animals human qualities (anthropomorphism) and second one being that he knew the potentially most dangerous animal in the zoo is man not the lions or the tigers.

His decision to give up the zoo and move to Canada was based not any failure of the zoo itself but on the political situation at the time India.

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