After a mother abandoned her newborn baby in a forest, a very special dog heard her cries and did the most incredible thing to save her life. <3
Mkombozi’s story is legendary in Kenya and worldwide. The African dog lived happily at the Kenya SPCA where she spent her time sleeping in a soft bed and teaching school children about animal welfare until she passed away in 2014. But back in 2005, Mkombozi became famous for saving an abandoned newborn baby.
The heroic dog found the 2-day-old baby wrapped in rags in Nairobi’s Ngong Forest near a racetrack in a poverty-stricken area where she was scavenging for food. Mkombozi lived at a compound with a family who looked after her. They fed her what they could, but she would often go out looking for more food for herself. The family had children and she was always curious when the babies were born, so she was familiar with babies crying.
Mkombozi picked up the abandoned baby and was seen crossing a busy road and weaving through traffic with a bundle, before disappearing and making her way back to her shack, where she was nursing her puppies. The infant and dog were soon discovered by the family’s two children, who heard the sound of a baby crying near their wooden shack, and alerted their parents. Aggrey Mwalimu, mother of the boys, found the baby lying next to the dog and a puppy.
The baby girl was taken to the hospital, where she spent several weeks recovering in intensive care. Sadly, newborns are abandoned by mothers because of extreme poverty and their inability to care for the children. Most people who abandon babies are never located.
After her last surviving puppy died, Mkombozi was taken in by the Kenya SPCA. The staff named her Mkombozi, which is swahili word for ‘Savior’. At first Mkombozi wasn’t overly happy to see her rescuers. Jean Gilchrist, executive director of the KSPCA recounted: “She wasn’t happy when we all poured into the compound. She decided to leave, but kids in the compound brought her back for the bath because she was full of ticks.”
The tan short-haired mixed breed was heavy with milk from nursing. She was bathed and de-wormed and taken to the shelter. After the story got out about Mkombozi’s heroic actions, Mkombozi’s family was given some money for school fees and food by Good Samaritans.
After arriving at the SPCA, Mkombozi simply loved to hang out and relax. She loved being with children and liked being at the shelter where she couldjust relax and hang out with her friends.
As for why Mkombozi saved the baby, Gilchrist speculated that the dog was possibly trying to care for the baby because most of her puppies had died. “She reckoned it was a young animal and possibly wanted to bring it up,” Gilchrist guessed. “It is something to do with the canine-human bond. Other dogs might have just left her there to die. … She’s obviously a very special dog,” Gilchrist added. “She is a very street-wise dog, that is for sure. The other dogs in the compound did not look very well, but she is the fattest of them all – she obviously knows how to look after herself.”
The KSPCA decided to adopt Mkombozi soon after, putting Mkombozi’s days of scavenging for food to an end. As for the baby girl, she was named “Angel” and later “Angela” and was adopted by a loving family. Were it not for Mkombozi’s kindness and heroic act, Angel would not be alive today.
This is such an amazing example of how wonderful dogs are. Share this incredible story – everyone should know about this incredible dog and what she did.