PICS: A Giant falls... Massive, ancient Sunland baobab topples in Limpopo

2017-05-17 10:43 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - The iconic Sunland Big Baobab tree, SA's biggest baobab with a circumference of 47 metres and a height of 22 metres, has toppled over. 

On 13 April this year, the Sunland Baobab team posted a message on their Facebook page saying, "We are sad to announce that our upside-down tree has toppled over this morning at 04:00. Never in our lives could we have imagined that this great giant that has stood sturdy all these years could break so tragically."

Over the past couple of months, however, the Sunland Baobab has been falling apart. In August last year, third of the tree's trunk crashed to the ground days after cracks appeared in the trunk. At the time, property-owners Doug and Heather van Heerden said it was “nature’s way of renovating”. 

A year before that, some of the tree's branches broke off, naturally, after heavy rainfall. 

SEE PICS: SA's most famous Baobab tree trunk breaks!

The Sunland ‘Big Baobab’ is located in Modjadjiskloof in Limpopo and was internationally renowned for being the widest of its species in the world. 

The tourist attraction also hosted a bar inside its hollow trunk.  Following the most recent breaking of the Big Tree, the Van Heerdens again invited visitors to visit the attraction. "We are open, come and have a braai and a beer in front of the brave baobab," they wrote on Facebook a day after the tree fell.  

This is what the massive Sunland Baobab looks like now - 

A few days after the tree fell over, the Van Heerden's posted another Facebook announcement saying, "seven out of 10 of the ancient Baobabs in Africa have collapsed in the last couple of years. The scientists who have studied this tree for over 10 years say there is nothing we could have done." 

According to Adrian Patrut from the University of Romania, in an journal on African Baobabs with False Inner Cavities, "the bar section of the tree collapsed 850 years ago and this time has done it again". 

The Van Heerdens wrote on Facebook that they are "blessed to have been part of the process. It's heartbreaking, but still magnificent." 

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