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Newborn baby found near river in Hietzing

Dog finds newborn baby under bush

A dog walker in Vienna was shocked when she realised the reason her dog was so interested in a bush near the river was because it had discovered a newborn baby sleeping under it.

The baby boy, which was less than two hours old and had blonde hair, was dressed and wrapped in blankets and sleeping in a pink carry cot on the waterfront near the river in Hietzing.

Dog owner Sabine S. normally would not have taken the route down the ramp past the bush, preferring to take the lift which as it happened was full up when she approached on the afternoon of Thursday 24 April.

No note was left with the baby, so Sabine S. took him in and then called the police and paramedics who administered first aid and took him to hospital. The child, whose umbilical cord had been severed clean, is healthy and doing well, according to a doctor at the primary children's department at the hospital Prof. Thomas Frischer.

A baby hatch where mothers can legally drop an unwanted baby safely and anonymously with authorities was available nearby at Wilhelminenspital, although for whatever reason had not been used in this situation. Abandoning a child in any other public space is illegal as it endangers the child's life and if caught, the mother, and father if he was involved, will be prosecuted by police.

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