Marineland Canada says it's mourning the passing of a "beloved" beluga whale at its facility in Niagara Falls, Ont.

Marineland issued a statement Monday morning saying the whale named Gia died suddenly, and that preliminary results of a necropsy indicate the cause of death was a twisted small intestine that resulted in a fatal blockage.

The statement says Gia was born at Marineland and had appeared to be healthy until her sudden passing. It adds that the young whale will be deeply missed by everyone at Marineland and that "Her sudden passing came as a great shock to everyone." 

It notes that shortly after her birth, Gia's mother stopped nursing her and she was cared for by a marine mammal team that worked with her 18 hours a day until she developed proper eating habits.

Marineland says complete necropsy results will be provided when received.