Several chapters near the start of the book put forth an argument for zoos. The narrator, son of a zookeeper, discusses extensively the virtues of zoos, and I, for one, am convinced. I already love zoos and think the wonder of getting to see God's beautiful and varied creation is--hands down--the best argument for zoos that could trump any cons. Martel spends 14 pages of argument for zoos, and I don't know if any of it is true, but I believe it.
This bit on lion taming gives you a snippet of his writing style, and the part at the end is laugh-out-loud funny.
As an aside, that is why a circus trainer must always enter the lion ring first, and in full sight of the lions. In doing so, he establishes that the ring is his territory, not theirs, a notion that he reinforces by shouting, by stomping about, by snapping his whip. The lions are impressed. Their disadvantage weighs heavily on them. Notice how they come in: mighty predators though they are, "king of beasts", they crawl in with their tails low and they keep to the edges of the ring, which is always round so they have nowhere to hide. They are in the presence of a strong dominant male, a super-alpha male, and they must submit to his dominance rituals. So they open their jaws wide, they sit up, they jump through paper-covered hoops, they crawl through tubes, they walk backwards, they roll over. "He's a queer one," they think dimly. "Never seen a top lion like him. But he runs a good pride. The larder's always full and--let's be honest, mates--his antics keep us busy. Napping all the time does get a bit boring. At least we're not riding bicycles like the brown bears or catching flying plates like the chimps."