This newborn baby has been hailed a 'miracle' after surviving being abandoned naked six feet underground in a freezing storm water drain in the midst of a colony of stinging red ants.

Charmaine Keevy, 63, was out for an early morning walk with her sausage dog Georgie in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, when it suddenly started barking loudly at a drain duct in the gutter.

The catering company boss said she heard a noise and thought it was a cat mewing but when she got on her hands and knees realised she could hear a baby crying from deep inside the drain.

Charmaine began frantically waving down passing cars for help until motorist Cornie Viljoen, 60, pulled over. And after listening for himself they both agreed they could definitely hear a baby sobbing.

He grabbed a steel bar from the boot of his car and with Charmaine's help the pair of them managed to lever the heavy concrete slab covering the storm water drain free so they could look inside.

Rescuer Cornie had to drop six feet down into the drain and almost immediately began being stung on both his legs and realised he was standing in a colony of red ants as he tried to grab the baby.

'The red ants were stinging my legs but then I felt this baby's leg and then saw the baby and I realised that this was a crime scene so I took a flash picture and handed my phone up to Charmaine.

'I didn't know if the baby was injured so I tried to pick her up very carefully and very slowly and she was so small. I just wanted to hold her for a while but I knew that she needed urgent medical help.

'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 new born 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' he said.

The police and an ambulance arrived quickly and paramedics treated the baby at the scene for hypothermia and she was rushed to the Dora Nginza Hospital for emergency treatment.

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.

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