- Mushroom pickers find crying infant in a cardboard box hidden under a concrete slab
- Despite harrowing ordeal, baby’s weight has almost trebled since he was found two months ago
Authorities in east China are searching for the parents of a baby boy who was found buried alive on a remote hillside two months ago, according to a local media report.
The newborn was discovered on August 21 by a couple walking in a rural part of Jinan, Shandong province, Jinan Times reported on Sunday.
The two local residents were picking mushrooms when they heard a cry coming from an area where the earth appeared to have been recently loosened. At first they thought it might have been a trapped animal, but after removing a layer of soil they saw a cement slab covering a pit and decided the noise coming from within was definitely human.
Fearing they might be implicated in a crime, the couple called the police to report what they had found and also alerted the local community.
But before any officers arrived, the baby stopped crying, so the couple and others who had gathered at the scene agreed to remove the slab and rescue the child, the report said.
The emergency services were called and the baby was taken to hospital. Doctors there said he had probably been buried for about three hours.
Zhou Shanghong, a local doctor and one of the people who helped rescue the baby, said that by the time he was freed he had stopped crying and his breathing was shallow.
A more thorough examination at the hospital, however, found he had no major problems, except for jaundice and anaemia, the report said.
Despite his harrowing start to life, the baby, who has yet to be named, has been making good progress. While he remains in an incubator, his weight has increased to 4kg (9lbs), from just 1.5kg when he was found, the report said.
Police have so far been unable to find any clues to the identity of the child's parents as there were no surveillance cameras in the area and no one witnessed him being abandoned, it said.
Zhou, who has paid for all of the baby's medical treatment, said that if no one came forward to claim him she would take him home herself.
"Every time he has a check-up, they (the hospital staff) call me," she said. "I'm like his half-mother … my family and I agreed that we would adopt this poor child if we can't find his parents."
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