Capybara, kangaroo Encounters and More at Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm in Yilan

Capybara, Kangaroo Encounters and More at Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm in Yilan, Taiwan

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張美阿媽農場與水豚君袋鼠等動物近距離接觸 – 宜蘭旅遊體驗 / Capybara, kangaroo Encounters and More at Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm in Yilan

Capybaras have been viral for quite a while already, especially on TikTok. If you’ve read my travel blogs, you know I’m a sucker for nature ad wildlife. Hence, When I stumble upon it for the first time, I spiral down another episode of my research rabbit hole, eager to find out everything about this creature. Once I learned enough about them, I even published an e-book about them. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I went to New Zealand in 2014; however, I betcha still need to learn the story behind it. Initially, we booked our trip to Australia to see the kangaroos. We paid for the hotels, flights and visas. However, we had to make a last-minute detour to New Zealand instead because we never got our visas. Although tuataras were quite exciting, my heart was still with the kangaroos. I used to be easygoing, but COVID-19 transformed me into “nogoing.” It takes much work to convince me to leave my comfort zone. However, when a friend invites me to a farm in Yilan with capybaras and kangaroos, I can’t say no. The plan is to depart right after breakfast, which I pair with 2 litres of water. The weather has been beautiful for the past month.
I take my first step out of the building, and the sky starts spitting. Gee, thanks. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo makes the 2-hour ride comfortable. However, my bladder doesn’t agree after I feed it 2 litres of water. We arrive at Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm‘s parking lot. Unsure how long the walk is to the entrance, I hop down the car, contract my pelvis, thighs and butt cheeks, and walk pigeon-toeing with my lower calf only. Luckily, the washrooms are located at the entrance, just in time for the rescue. Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm offers 2 ticket options: a single admission ticket or a full-experience ticket, which includes a DIY cooking class. Since I live with GD eczema, I opt for the first. The rainy day doesn’t stop families and children from visiting, but the staff keeps everyone in order with clear instructions. After disinfecting our hands, I find myself bestowed with a gift from nature —we are each given an abundant supply of long, luscious feeding grass. Although I am not familiar with the exact species, it is evident that this grass possesses a remarkable quality, capable of sustaining the hunger of all the magnificent creatures that reside within this realm.
We embark on our extraordinary journey through the wilderness. —. Excitement courses through my veins as I eagerly venture into the first zone, where the graceful sika deer awaits.

sika deer Robbery

With each step, my heart brimming with anticipation, I am suddenly confronted by a sight that sends shockwaves through my being. The sika deers, with their majestic presence, stand before me, their eyes fixated on the verdant offering we hold. Without warning, the one with a fuller bum, the alfa, I assume, lunges forward, teeth bared, snatching most of the feeding grass from our grasp in a barbaric display of dominance. It feels like a robbery, an act that defies the harmony of nature and leaves me momentarily stunned, “I’ve just entered Zone 1!”
At this very moment, conflicting emotions surge within me. A sense of astonishment intertwines with frustration as I bear witness to the sika deer‘s primal instincts taking precedence. The once peaceful act of providing sustenance to the creatures of the wild transforms into a chaotic display of survival. I know many more animal interactions await. Yet I’m left with little grass to offer, so I start debating whether I should fight and take back what’s mine. However, when I approach the alpha, its eyes fixate on my less-to-nothing offering I hold again. When its bum hits me, almost knocking me over, I know immediately my chicken-leg limbs are no match with this “sika JLo.” Further, I have come to understand that this act of “robbery” is not driven by malice but rather an innate drive to secure sustenance in a world where resources are scarce. I make my peace.
As I observe the sika deer barbarically consume the stolen grass, I am reminded of the delicate balance that exists in nature. The struggle for survival is an integral part of the animal kingdom, where each species must use its unique skills and adaptations to thrive. In this moment of adversity, I find solace in the knowledge that nature’s tapestry is woven with both cooperation and competition, creating a dynamic ecosystem where every action serves a purpose.

While the sika deer‘s actions may momentarily dampen my spirits, I find inspiration in the resilience and adaptability of the other creatures that share this realm. They navigate this complex dance of survival, finding alternative sources of nourishment or patiently awaiting their turn to partake in the abundance that nature provides.

In the face of adversity, I am filled with an unwavering determination to continue my journey as a witness to nature’s wonders. I embrace the lessons learned from the sika deer‘s act of survival, recognizing that even in the wilderness, life’s struggles shape and mould us. And so, I press forward, eager to uncover more tales and share the extraordinary experiences that await me on this path of discovery.

Majestic Valais Blacknose Sheep

With their striking black faces and fluffy white fleece, the Valais Blacknose sheep welcomes me with a regal charm. Their presence exuded elegance and sophistication as they gracefully roamed the lush pastures. As I observe their gentle nature and admire their magnificent horns, I discover the allure of their luxurious lifestyle. These magnificent creatures symbolize abundance, opulence, and the essence of a life filled with richness and prosperity.

Endearing Alpacas


My journey reaches its zenith when I cross paths with the endearing alpacas, their gentle gazes emanating warmth and affection. Their soft, luxurious coats invite me to stroke them, and their calm demeanour envelops me in a sense of tranquillity. In their presence, I know I’m supposed to find comfort. However, I find myself thinking about wool only. As I question if my thoughts are evil and if I should be sent to prison for animal cruelty, I find it easier to blame it on my upbringing growing up in the Arabs and watching the shepherds shearing wool. The alpacas taught me that true wealth lies not only in material abundance but also in the richness of emotional connections and inner peace.

Playful Capybaras

Next, I meet the playful capybaras, the social butterflies of the animal kingdom. Their mischievous eyes sparkled with mischief as they frolicked in the water, inviting me to join in their joyful escapades. With their friendly and sociable nature, they remind me of the importance of laughter, camaraderie, and embracing the carefree spirit within us. In their presence, I learned the true meaning of abundance exists among animals, too: the abundance of love, laughter, and shared experiences.

Bouncing Kangaroos

In a corner of this magical sanctuary, I come close to the bouncing kangaroos, their energetic leaps filling the air with a sense of vitality and adventure. With each bound, they seemed to defy gravity. I let out a loud, evil laugh as if I finally got vengeance after all these years since I cancelled my trip to Australia. These kangaroos’ joie de vivre ignite a flame within me. I’m the oldest in our group, but my reactions reveal my mental age. I jump up and down, scream and squeak out of excitement.
As I approach the mini kangaroos with bated breath, each step feels like a dance of anticipation. Time slows down, allowing me to savour every moment of this extraordinary encounter. The first mini kangaroo, its fur soft and radiant, stands tall, radiating a maternal glow that fills the air. And there, nestled within the confines of its pouch, lies a tiny face brimming with wide-eyed wonder and innocence. It’s a scene that defies logic—a miniature marvel cradled within the sanctuary of its seemingly still underaged mother’s pouch.
My heart pounds with excitement as I shift my focus to the second mini kangaroo, its coat a shimmering tapestry of rich brown hues glistening under the golden sun. With a graceful hop, it unveils its precious cargo—a sight that evokes a symphony of awe within me. From the depths of its pouch emerges another miniature creation, blinking and taking in the world with curiosity. The air is hushed, carrying the gentle whispers and rustles of life’s miracles. Witnessing these mini kangaroos carrying their babies is like being invited to an exclusive performance, where nature herself orchestrates the most enchanting symphony.
At this very moment, I find myself surrendering to a whirlwind of emotions. Awe washes over me, like a tidal wave of wonder, as I stand in the presence of such magnificence. My senses are overwhelmed, and I am humbled by the intricate beauty of the natural world. Time seems to stand still, allowing me to immerse myself fully in this extraordinary encounter. The sheer magnitude of this phenomenon leaves me breathless, etching an indelible imprint upon my soul.
As I stand here, fully present in this breathtaking encounter, I come to realize that nature’s best-kept secrets often reveal themselves to those who embrace the wonders that surround them. The sight of these mini kangaroos with babies in their pockets is a testament to the resilience, adaptability, and nurturing capabilities of these marvellous creatures. It serves as a reminder that even in the vastness of the animal kingdom, the most extraordinary stories are often written in the tiniest of details.
Reluctantly, I tear my gaze away from this mesmerizing spectacle, a sense of profound gratitude washing over me. This moment, this encounter with the mini kangaroos and their precious offspring, has ignited an insatiable thirst within me. It has inspired me to continue my journey as a wildlife lover, forever seeking these extraordinary moments that connect us to the magic of the natural world.
With each step I take, I carry with me the spirit of this very day—a tribute to the power and beauty that nature holds. As I embark on new adventures, I make a solemn vow to share the tale of these mini kangaroos, their pockets cradling life’s miracles, with the world. It is a story that captures hearts and ignites imaginations, just as it has captured mine. And so, I march forward, forever changed by this encounter, eager to uncover even more of nature’s best-kept secrets and to create my own pages in the ever-unfolding novel of life.
I snap back to reality; my voice is hoarse from screaming already, and other visitors are looking at me like I’m a freak. I rush to the next zone to escape the embarrassment.

Indifferent African Spurred Tortoises

As I enter the presence of the African-spurred tortoises, my heart skips a beat. Emotions surge through me, reminding me of the tortoise we had growing up who mysteriously gave birth to 4 baby turtles.
Filled with excitement and longing to reconnect with these majestic creatures, I raise my voice, hoping to capture their attention. But to my dismay, they remain indifferent, as if I am merely a passing breeze in their world. The sting of rejection pierces my heart, causing a fissure in the glass-like fragility that resides within me. It’s as if the memories of my beloved childhood pet have been cast aside, lost amidst the indifference of these African-spurred tortoises.
In this moment of hurt, I turn to the wisdom of nature for solace. The African-spurred tortoises, with their stoic and unyielding demeanour, taught me a profound lesson. They remind me that not all connections are meant to be rekindled and that the natural world operates on its own terms. Their indifference is not a personal affront but rather a reflection of their innate instincts and the complexities of their existence.
As I bid farewell to the African-spurred tortoises, a bittersweet feeling lingers within me. I carry the weight of unrequited connection, yet I also carry the knowledge that nature’s beauty is not always meant to be grasped. The glass heart within me may be fragile, but it is also resilient. It will mend and grow stronger with each encounter, each moment of reflection, and each step taken on this journey of discovery.
I walk away, grateful for the memories that have shaped me, both the joyous ones and those that have left a mark of longing. I embrace the wisdom gained from the African-spurred tortoises, understanding that nature’s indifference does not diminish the beauty and significance of the bond I once shared with my childhood pet. And so, with renewed resilience and an open heart, I continue my exploration, eager to uncover more of life’s extraordinary moments in the realm of nature’s wonders.
There’s no turning back at Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm; once visitors proceed to the next zone, they can’t turn back. We are in the last zone. Before leaving, I want to take a last glimpse at the TikTok stars.

Resting Capybaras

Zone 3 is now an area dedicated to the capybaras‘ relaxation and enrichment. They’re piled up on top of each other, sleeping, as if they’re exhausted from just having an orgy party. What amuses me is now that each capybara has an orange on its head. Capybaras are naturally social animals and love to spend time together in groups. Providing them with a space to unwind and engage in natural behaviours is essential for their well-being.
The oranges on their heads serve as a form of enrichment. Enrichment activities are designed to stimulate the animals mentally and physically, promoting their natural instincts and behaviours. These activities help prevent boredom, encourage social interaction, and provide a sense of novelty in their environment.
Placing oranges on the capybaras‘ heads creates an amusing and visually striking sight. It’s a playful way to engage both the capybaras and visitors, sparking curiosity and a sense of wonder. The capybaras may interact with the oranges, nudge them around, or simply rest with them atop their heads. It’s a form of entertainment for both the animals and the observers.
Enrichment activities like this also encourage natural behaviours that the capybaras would exhibit in the wild. They might use their snouts to push the oranges around, mimicking foraging behaviour or engaging in social play. It provides them with mental stimulation and helps maintain their overall well-being in captivity.
Additionally, the capybaras‘ behaviour in this designated area can also serve as an educational opportunity for visitors. It showcases the animals’ unique characteristics, social dynamics, and their ability to adapt to enrichment activities. It’s a chance to learn more about these fascinating creatures and develop a deeper appreciation for their natural behaviour. I would never steal from the poor or little ones. However, I also can’t resist the rush of adrenaline in committing a crime. So, out of curiosity, I steal an orange from one of the capybaras, just to find out they’re fake!
So, the area with capybaras lazing around with fake oranges on their heads serves as a form of enrichment, entertainment, and education, all contributing to the well-being and enjoyment of both the capybaras and the visitors. It’s just one of the many ways sanctuaries strive to create a fulfilling and immersive experience for everyone involved.

The Human Zone

張美阿媽農場與水豚君袋鼠等動物近距離接觸 - 宜蘭旅遊體驗 / Capybara, kangaroo Encounters and More at Zhang Mei Ama's Farm in Yilan
張美阿媽農場與水豚君袋鼠等動物近距離接觸 – 宜蘭旅遊體驗 / Capybara, kangaroo Encounters and More at Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm in Yilan

We exit the animal farm and enter the boring “human zone,” where ticket buyers can exchange their tickets for pancakes made with Yilan’s specialty, Saxing scallions. For the review, stay tuned for our next food blog!

Visiting Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm was an extraordinary adventure. I loved interacting with the animals and learning about their behaviours and needs. It was a memorable Taiwan experience!



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