Giant 200-yr-old cactus toppled by heavy rain in U.S.

Courtesy of Arizona State Parks and Trails / AFP-Jiji
A 200-year-old Saguaro cactus is seen at Catalina State Park near Tucson, Ariz.

LOS ANGELES (AFP-Jiji) — A giant Saguaro cactus that had lived for some 200 years was toppled by heavy rain in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona.

“Powerful seasonal rains can quickly make an impact on the desert landscape. The loss of this huge, iconic — 200 year old Saguaro on the Romero Ruins trail overlooking the Sutherland wash at Catalina State Park in Tucson is one change regular park visitors can’t miss,” Arizona State Parks said on Facebook.

A photo accompanying the post showed the cactus’s giant arms splayed on the ground, its trunk shattered.

The Saguaro cactus can reach more than 10 meters in height and weigh more than 2 tons when full of water. The plant, which grows in the United States and Mexico, has become a symbol of the American West and particularly of the desert landscape of Arizona.

“Thankfully this giant has fallen off the trail and will stay where it landed, providing habitat and food for many creatures as it decomposes,” Arizona State Parks said.