This story was first published on April 23, 2014
Circulating social media message claims that a newborn baby abandoned in a forest was carried across a busy road and through a barbed wire fence to safety by a stray dog. The message features an image of a dog beside a baby on a bed.
The message is based on a reportedly true incident that occurred in Kenya back in 2005. According to news reports, the dog indeed brought the baby back to her own litter of puppies, although exact details of the rescue are hazy. It appears that the dog may not have been a stray as claimed in the message and other details about the dog and the rescue vary in different media reports. Nevertheless, it seems that the baby was indeed rescued by the dog. The baby was taken to hospital for treatment and recovered well. While the story itself appears to be true, the image in the message does not show the rescuing dog or the rescued baby. The same image has circulated in other contexts for several years.
A newborn baby abandoned in a forest was saved by a stray dog who carried her across a busy road and through a barbed wire fence to a shed where the infant was discovered nestled with her litter of puppies. Coverd by CNN and CBS. definitely a mans best friend
A message currently circulating via social media tells the story of a stray dog that rescued a newborn baby abandoned in a forest. The story tells how the dog carried the baby across a busy road and through a barbed wire fence and placed her with her own litter of puppies. The message features a photograph of a dog nestled beside a sleeping infant. The location of the incident is not listed in the circulating story. Nor does the message specify when the rescue took place.
The incident described is reportedly true, although exactly how the doggy rescue transpired remains somewhat hazy. The incident took place in Kenya back in 2005. A 2005 Associated Press article notes:
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.
A May 2005 BBC article also reported on the incident, noting:
An abandoned baby girl found among a dog’s litter of puppies is now doing well in hospital in Kenya’s capital.
Two boys heard the two-week old baby girl, named Angel by nurses, crying near their house in a Nairobi suburb.
The dog’s owner then found the baby covered by an old cloth in a plastic bag. She gave her some milk and cleaned her before she was taken to hospital.
While the incident has been reported as true by credible sources, there are nevertheless some anomalies. Both the circulating message and some news reports state that the dog was a stray. However, the BBC report and other sources suggest that the dog had lived with a particular family for five years, although it was still referred to as a ‘street dog’. Furthermore, while some reports suggest that the baby was rescued from a forest, others suggest that she was found on a garbage dump.
Nevertheless, there is no reason to doubt the core claim that the dog indeed found the abandoned baby and brought her to safety. Such rescues are certainly not unprecedented.
The dog, later dubbed Mkombozi (Liberator), became quite famous after the rescue and her fame brought benefits to her very poor family. The baby, first dubbed Angel and then later named Angela, spent several weeks in a hospital before being moved to an orphanage.
Angela’s mother was never identified. It should be noted, however, that the image that circulates with this social media message does not show either Mkombozi or Angela. The same image has circulated in several other contexts since at least 2011 and has no connection to the Kenyan rescue story.