"Surprisingly unscathed," newborn survives after he's flushed down the toilet by his mother

CHINA (WITI) -- A newborn baby has survived being flushed down the toilet by his mother shortly after she gave birth to him in China.

The Daily Mail reports a passerby heard the little boy's cries coming from a sewer and called police. The boy was found laying in a pool of filthy water.

The boy, nicknamed "Xiaoxiao," which means "teeny tiny" survived with just a few scratches. He's recovering at the hospital as police search for his mother, according to the Daily Mail.

"It was really a race against time because somebody could have flushed something down the sewer at any stage, or the baby might have turned over and ended up face first in the filthy water and drowned. We didn't want to smash the pipe because we thought that might also hurt or even kill the baby. We had to use a mixture of tools in order to ease him towards the opening and then pull him out. He still had the umbilical cord attached, and it had obviously been clumsily cut," a fire department squad leader said.

At the hospital, the baby was cleaned and fed but he didn't otherwise need any medical care. Doctors say he's perfectly healthy.

If his mother is found, the Daily Mail reports she could face child abuse and neglect charges.

CLICK HERE for much more on this story, and to see photos of the baby via the Daily Mail.