The baby was abandoned in the drain

The baby was abandoned in the drain where she was heard crying

The shivering tot was found in a drain by rescuer Charmaine Keeby, 63, who had taken her dog for a walk.

Her sausage dog Georgie had began barking loudly at a duct.

The catering company boss believed her beloved pet had come across a stranded cat.

Yet when she looked down into the drain herself she realised she could hear a crying baby.

Cornie Viljoen came to the rescue to pull the baby out of the drain

Cornie Viljoen came to the rescue to pull the baby out of the drain

I honestly believe I was meant to find that baby

Charmaine, rescuer

Charmaine quickly flagged down oncoming motorist Cornie Viljoen, 60, who helped remove the concrete slab covering the water drain using a steel bar from his car.

Cornie then bravely entered the duct, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, dropping six feet down through a nest of red ants.

He said: “The baby was lucky the red ants were higher up in the drain and not down at the bottom where she was.

“I just do not know why anyone could do this to a newborn baby, but I was just so glad that we were able to help her and save her life.

“I told Charmaine to call the emergency services right away.”

Paramedics arrived and quickly saw to the baby before sending her to Dora Nginza Hospital.

Workers believe the baby – named by staff as Grace April – had been abandoned for a couple of hours and was close to hypothermia.

She is now on the road to a full recovery and is being dubbed the “miracle” baby.

The newborn is on the road to recovery

The newborn is on the road to recovery

Rescuer Charmaine said: “I honestly believe I was meant to find that baby by God as I usually take a different route on my dog walk but for some reason went another way.

“I cannot help but feel that there is some sort of a plan and a purpose for that little girls’ life – it is a miracle without a doubt.”

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said: “There is a possibility that the person who did this may have come from outside the area and placed the child there.

“We are appealing for witnesses and the mother of this baby to come forward.”

Charmaine added: “I hope if the mother does not come forward that Grace April finds a loving family and makes her mark on this world.”

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