Stray cats alert residents to an abandoned new-born baby in a drain

NEWS AND COMMENT-WESTERN INDIAN STATE OF MAHARASHTRA, INDIA: Sadly, this is another example of mothers throwing away their unwanted new-born babies for them to die; in this instance the mother or somebody under the directions of the mother threw the baby away into a sewage drain according to online news media.

Rescued infant after stray cats made residents aware of the child in a drain
Rescued infant after stray cats made residents aware of the child in a drain. Picture: Mumbai Police tweet.

The stray cats in the area became apparently agitated which alerted residents to the presence of the new-born baby who in turn alerted the police which led to an investigation by the local authority.

The incident took place in the Indian commercial capital, Mumbai. The infant was wrapped in a cloth and dumped in sewage. The Mumbai Police tweet states that the presence of the baby created a 'ruckus' among the stray cats (a commotion). The baby was rushed to hospital. I have re-published the tweet below.

Note: Sometimes tweets are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

The news media do not know the names of the parents or parent who dumped the baby in the drain. Neither is the gender of the baby revealed by the police.

News media tells me that this kind of incident is not exceptional, albeit rare. Two similar incidents are reported: in November 2020 a new-born was rescued from the roadside after her parents allegedly stuffed the baby into a gunny sack and left her to die. In another incident earlier in June 2018, a new-born was abandoned in a storm drain in the southern Indian city of Chennai. A milkman on his way to work heard the cries. The milkman alerted a local resident, a woman, who pulled the baby to safety whereupon it was rushed to hospital.

We are not told what kind of ruckus the cats produced as a result of the presence of the baby. They probably investigated it. There might have been several cats sniffing and investigating the infant. They probably regarded the child as a 'invading hostile presence'. This might have been enough to draw attention to the child leading to its rescue. Perhaps the cats should be rescued as well as a reward.

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