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Stray dog in Kenya saves abandoned child

Thursday, May 12, 2005

NAIROBI, Kenya - A stray dog saved the life of a newborn baby after finding the abandoned infant in a forest and apparently carrying it across a busy road and through some barbed wire to her litter of puppies, witnesses said.

The stray dog found the infant, clad in tattered clothing, in a poor neighborhood near the Ngong Forests in the capital of Nairobi, Stephen Thoya told the independent Daily Nation newspaper.

The dog apparently found the baby Friday in the plastic bag in which the infant had been abandoned, said Aggrey Mwalimu, owner of the shed where the animal was guarding its puppies. The 7-pound, 4-ounce infant was taken to the hospital for treatment on Saturday.

"She is doing well, responding to treatment, she is stable. ... She is on antibiotics," Kenyatta National Hospital spokeswoman Hanna Gakuo told The Associated Press from the hospital, where health workers called the infant Angel.

Common problem

Kenya's media often report the abandonment of newborns by mothers. Poverty and the inability to care for the child are seen as the root cause of the problem. Most people who abandon babies are never caught.

The child had not yet been claimed.

"Abandoned babies are normally taken to the Kenyatta National Hospital because it is a public hospital," Gakuo said. "People are now donating diapers and baby clothes for this one."


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