Police have said that they have found the mother of the new-born baby boy who was dumped in a sewer pipe below a Chinese public toilet.
The baby is recovering in hospital after being rescued and Chinese police said that an investigation is ongoing.
Firefighters sawed off a section of the three-inch wide pipe and then delicately dismantled it to free the trapped baby after a tenant heard its cries in the toilet of a residential building in Zhejiang province in eastern China.
The child – named Baby No. 59 from the number of his hospital incubator – was reported safe in a nearby hospital, and news of the rescue prompted an outpouring from strangers who arrived with nappies, baby clothes, powdered milk and offers to adopt the child.
The baby weighed 6.2 lbs and still had his placenta attached, reports said. His heart rate was low and there were grazes on his head and limbs, but he was largely unscathed, according to Zhejiang Online, the province’s official news agency.
It was not clear how the baby ended up in the toilet, but police said they were treating the case as an attempted homicide.
In China’s popular Twitter-like microblogs, some users expressed pity for the child and horror at his ordeal. Most bloggers speculated that the child had been abandoned and dumped by his parents down the toilet.
The landlord of the building said it was unlikely the birth took place in the toilet because there was no evidence of blood and she was not aware of any recent pregnancies among her tenants.
Despites the offers to adopt Baby No. 59, a doctor at the hospital said the boy would be handed over to social services if his parents did not claim him.
In China reports of babies being abandoned are common and fuel public anger against a strict one-child policy that imposes huge fines on parents who violate the rules.
The policy has been blamed as a factor causing parents to abandon unwanted children, although they are usually baby girls whose parents want sons due to a traditional preference for male heirs.