HOPEWELL CAPE, N.B. -- An iconic East Coast landmark has collapsed.

A spokesman for New Brunswick's Hopewell Rocks provincial park says a large section of the flowerpot rock known as "the Elephant" caved in Monday morning.

The rock is one of 17 such formations on the Hopewell Rocks shoreline and is best known for its depiction on New Brunswick's Medicare card.

Kevin Snair, the park's supervisor of interpretive services, says recent temperature swings likely contributed to the collapse.

Snair says when the snow melts, water flows into cracks in the rocks, then freezes again when temperatures drop at night, which weakens the stone.

He says the park sees more rock falls in the spring than any other time of year.

"Although it is sad to see a beloved formation crumble, it is also very exciting to witness the same forces that created our park as they redefine the coastline of tomorrow," he said in an email.