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Aww! Toronto Zoo releases photographs of growing baby panda twins

The Toronto Zoo's twin baby pandas are starting to develop black and white markings. Toronto Zoo/Twitter

TORONTO – The Toronto Zoo’s twin baby pandas are finally starting to look like real pandas.

Following their birth on Oct. 13, zoo officials say the little ones have started to develop black and white markings on their furry bodies.

Female giant panda Er Shun delivered the newborns three minutes apart with the first cub weighing 187.7 grams at birth and the second at 115 grams.

The zoo said the mother continues “to show great maternal instincts.”

“Both cubs continue to do well but are still in a very critical stage & will be for several more weeks,” the Zoo tweeted on Friday.

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Er Shun, on loan from China until 2018 as part of a conservation breeding program, underwent two non-surgical artificial insemination procedures on May 14, 2015.

During regularly scheduled ultrasounds, staff found a fetal heartbeat on Sept. 25 and a second separate fetus was discovered on Sept. 29.

Zoo officials said the sex and the paternity of the cubs will not be known for several more months.

The baby pandas remains off-limits to the public until another five months when the cubs are stronger.

Er Shun and Da Mao are scheduled to relocate to the Calgary Zoo in 2018 and it’s unclear at this point if the cubs will go with them, Toronto Zoo spokesperson Jennifer Tracey said.

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