A woman survived by eating tree bark
A woman survived by eating tree bark after falling into a dry well in China Getty

A 63-year-old woman who fell into a dry well survived for nine days by chewing tree bark and drinking urine, China's People's Daily reported.

The woman, named as Wang Huanzhen, was out collecting firewood with her husband on February 2 when she fell into the 10m-deep well in China's southwestern Sichuan province.

Her husband raised the alarm when he could not find her, and police and villagers spent days searching the countryside for trace of the woman.

Nine days later a shepherd was passing near the dry well when he heard a weak cry for help and saw Wang trapped at the bottom.

She was rescued and taken to a hospital for treatment, where medics found she had fractured her right leg and a rib.

She said she had survived by chewing bark and drinking urine to avoid dehydration, which she learnt on a first aid course after an earthquake struck the region in 2008. Certain types of tree barks are edible, and contain vitamins and nutrients.

"I think it is my positive mindset that kept me alive," Wang told the Chengdu Business Daily. The woman is currently in a stable condition, medics said.