Marineland beluga whale died as a result of twisted small intestine

A video image of Gia, Marineland's beluga whale, taken in March 2016. Marineland Canada

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – 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.

READ MORE: Animal cruelty charges dropped against Marineland

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.

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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.

READ MORE: OSPCA says routine inspection of Marineland finds no issues

Marineland says complete necropsy results will be provided when received.

VIDEO: Animal cruelty charges dropped against Marineland

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Animal cruelty charges dropped against Marineland

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