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‘Get out of bed...get dressed’ says judge...plus other curiousities

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge has one request for attorneys showing up for court hearings via Zoom: Get out of bed and put on some clothes!

Broward Circuit Judge Dennis Bailey made the plea in a letter published by the Weston Bar Association, news outlets reported.

“It is remarkable how many ATTORNEYS appear inappropriately on camera,” Bailey said in the letter. “One male lawyer appeared shirtless and one female attorney appeared still in bed, still under the covers.”

Bailey isn’t making any exceptions for lawyers lounging in the Florida sunshine, either.

“Putting on a beach cover-up won’t cover up you’re poolside in a bathing suit,” he wrote.

Since courthouses shut down on March 16 to help slow the coronavirus pandemic, Broward County’s judicial system has held about 1,200 Zoom meetings involving some 14,000 participants, WPLG-TV reported.

Bailey, for one, said he won’t hold a complicated trial over the video conferencing site, given the technology’s shortcomings.

“Often, lawyers are not looking at their screens but down at their files, their outlines and notes, or simply out the window, and cannot see the judge is hollering “Stop! Stop!” because an objection has been made and the audio stays with the witness rather than obeying the judge,” he said.

Cuteness alert: Zoo Miami shows off Clouded Leopard kittens

MIAMI (AP) — Providing exactly what’s needed in these trying times, Zoo Miami has shared images of two clouded leopard cubs.

The male and female have been secluded in a den with their mother, Serai, since their Feb. 11 birth so that they could properly bond while avoiding external stress, according to a news release from the South Florida zoo.

Zookeepers took the kittens Tuesday to check their development and give them their initial vaccines. Both offspring appear to be thriving, and the mother continues to be attentive and nursing them on a regular basis, officials said.

“Amid all of the stressful news that we are all dealing with, I hope that this can bring a smile to some of your faces!” the zoo’s communications director, Ron Magill, wrote as he shared the images. “Hopefully, once this pandemic has run its course, the public will be able to return to the zoo to personally see these precious new additions!”

Clouded Leopards are highly endangered in their natural forest habitat in Southern China, Taiwan and Malaysia. Adults usually weigh 30-50 pounds (13-23 kilograms). They have a very long tail with relatively short legs and large paws, which helps them stay in trees. Their numbers are depleted due to hunting. Their attractive pelts have ceremonial value in many cultures.

Healthy baby elephant born at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Officials at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson are celebrating the birth of a baby elephant.

Zoo officials say the baby was born Monday to Semba, a 30-year-old African elephant, and that it weighed nearly 300 pounds (131 kilograms) after 22 months of gestation.

Officials described the baby elephant as “healthy, standing and nursing.”

The baby wasn’t given a name immediately.

Semba has given birth before but zoo officials said during her pregnancy that she was being closely monitored through physical exams, blood work and ultrasounds.

Dr. Sue Tygielski, the zoo’s director of zoological oerations, said Semba’s labor went smoothly and that there were no complications.

The new calf expands the zoo’s elephant herd to six, including the baby’s parents, two older siblings and an adult female.

The zoo is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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