Australia is in the midst of one of the worst bushfire crises the world has seen. Since September, entire communities have been engulfed by relentless heat and fires. The flames are showing no signs of slowing down - which means only one thing... death tolls are rising.
As more and more heartbreaking statistics surface, it\'s truly gut-wrenching.
But one Instagram model has come up with a rather innovative way to help. Kaylen, aka The Naked Philanthropist, decided to sell nudes in aid of the bushfires - and she\'s raised an incredible amount of money. However, no good deed goes unpunished - and Instagram has controversially taken down the model\'s account, but not before she raised an amazing amount of money.
Australia is being ravished by one of the worst bush fire crises the world has seen in decades.
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Due to soaring temperatures and one of the worst droughts in years, the relentless fires have been burning since September. We’re currently in January. Just let that sink in.
New South Wales is suffering immensely at the moment.
There have been fires reported in every state, but New South Wales is truly taking a beating by bush fires and is undoubtedly the hardest hit.
More than 2,200 houses have now been destroyed.
NSW declared a state of emergency last month.
What does this mean? Well, it grants “extraordinary powers” to the NSWRFS commissioner, including the authority to allocate government resources and direct government agencies in taking action, according to CNN.
The raging fires have had a devastating impact...
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The BBC reported that close to fifty bush fires continue to burn in populated coastal and inland regions to the city’s north.
Twenty-eight people have been confirmed to have died in the fires since they started...
Including several volunteer firefighters.
And it\\\'s not just the flames themselves that are having deadly consequences...
Last month, the smoke was so bad in Sydney that air quality measured eleven times the “hazardous” level, CNN reports.
The Australian fire services have been stretched to their limits.
Firefighters all over the country have been tirelessly battling the formidable blazes and are struggling to contain them.
Keep scrolling to see the heartbreaking pictures of the aftermath.
Australia has even been forced to make a global call for help...
And it was Canada that was the first to respond and take action.
The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, based in Winnipeg, answered the call for help after realizing the bush fire situation is expected to continue for many more weeks and gave up their Christmas to help fight the raging fires.
Other countries offered their assistance...
Including the U.S. and New Zealand, who have sent in more firefighters to try and help tackles the blazes.
But even with assistance from overseas...
welcome to 2020. Australia is literally burning. 4,000 people have fled to Mallacoota beach as a bushfire bears down on them. 7.4 million acres of land (the size of Belgium) have already burned. This climate emergency is our new reality, and this is yet another warning pic.twitter.com/HGTG4a8yhl— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) December 31, 2019
There seems to be no end to the blazes.
In total, more than 10.7 million hectares (26 million acres) have been burned, CNN reports.
And those who escaped the flames have lost their homes, with all their possessions perishing to the flames.
People have been desperately fleeing to beaches for cover.
The surreal scene at Currarong in Jervis Bay with huge plumes from the northern flank of the Currowan fire in the background
Photo by Nick Moir pic.twitter.com/J7XYnd4yIs
And are left stranded awaiting evacuation. It’s a truly heartbreaking sight.
How long could the fires actually be burning for?
Sadly, Australia has only just entered summer, meaning temperatures could remain high for some weeks.
In fact, temperatures usually reach their highest during January and February, so there may be no end in sight for months.
The fires have also had a devasting impact on wildlife.
Several of Australia’s native species have been affected including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, possums, wombats, and echidnas.
And the latest statistics are some of the most alarming yet.
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The country is totally unprepared for the devastation caused to its wildlife.
Science for Wildlife executive director Dr Kellie Leigh told the New South Wales upper house inquiry: “We’re getting a lot of lessons out of this and it’s just showing how unprepared we are.
“There’s no procedures or protocols in place – even wildlife carers don’t have protocols for when they can go in after fire.”
Koalas have been amongst the hardest hit.
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It’s believed that at least a third of koalas in New South Wales alone have perished in the flames.
But what\\\'s even more concerning...
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Tracy Burgess, a volunteer at Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Services (WIRES), explained how concerning it was that rescuers were not receiving as many animal patients as they expected.
“We’re not getting that many animals coming into care. So, our concern is that they don’t come into care because they’re not there anymore, basically,” she told Reuters.
And that\\\'s not all...
for those who don’t know, koalas have been declared environmentally EXTINCT, because so many died as a result of australia’s bushfire situation. the media needs to step up and start bringing awareness to the lives that are being lost both human and wildlife #AUSTRALIANBUSHFIRES pic.twitter.com/WZtAZYQBje— katey ☆ ceo of ramen noodle hair (@akuatzu) January 1, 2020
It’s feared that animals that managed to survive the flames will need huge amounts of humanitarian assistance to get populations anywhere near back to what they used to be.
Residents have even been trying to rescue helpless animals themselves.
Now let’s talk about the animals lost in this #Bushfire crisis. Rare and beautiful species, unique to Australia, either burned up in the flames or starved in the aftermath. Here’s a wombat we found on our place after the last fire front came through 1/ pic.twitter.com/EEqMVlKDcg— Meraiah Foley, PhD (@meraiahfoley) January 1, 2020
And of course, we all remember Lewis the Koala who was heroically rescued by a woman using the clothes off her back.
A staggering number of animals have perished in the fires.
And its only set to get worse. But the number that surfaced this week is utterly heartbreaking.
Over one billion animals have died.
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It’s thought now over one billion mammals, birds, and reptiles have died since September.
And one Instagram model has had an innovative idea to help.
This is Kaylen, also known by her social media handle, The Naked Philanthropist.
In some ways, she\\\'s just another influencer.
Model Kaylen Ward said she raised at least $500,000 for Australia wildfires with nude photos - The Washington Post https://t.co/MUKCaaKe1q— THE NAKED PHILANTHROPIST (@lilearthangelk) January 7, 2020
But her social media accounts have a difference. Kaylen uses her hotness for good, rather than evil.
And her latest move is highly topical.
Kaylen took to Twitter on Saturday offering her followers the option to purchase her nudes for $10 – all of which she would donate to help with the Australian bushfires.
She even included a helpful link.
Meaning even those who didn’t want to buy her nudes could help out with the cause.
Things took off fairly quickly.
I’m sending nudes to every person who donates atleast $10 to any one of these fundraisers for the wildfires in Australia. Every $10 you donate = one nude picture from me to your DM. You must send me confirmation that you donated.
Please RT #AustraliaOnFire #AustraliaFires pic.twitter.com/VIgzCUy6Wf
In just a couple of hours, Kaylen had sold over fifty nudes, raising more than $5,000 for the Australian bushfires.
But, little did she know, this was only the beginning.
Some donations were truly incredible.
I CAN’T BELIEVE WE RAISED OVER HALF A MILLION DOLLARS omfg— THE NAKED PHILANTHROPIST (@lilearthangelk) January 5, 2020
Kaylen announced she has raised an estimated $700,000. Could her unique brand of “naked philanthropy” raise a million dollars?
But it has come at a cost.
My IG got deactivated, my family disowned me, and the guy I like won’t talk to me all because of that tweet. But fuck it, save the koalas.— THE NAKED PHILANTHROPIST (@lilearthangelk) January 5, 2020
Kaylen has faced a huge amount of backlash for her work – in spite of all the good she’s done. This includes Instagram controversially deactivating the model’s account.
And many have made this point.
Rather than just sending “thoughts and prayers,” Kaylen has actually taken action – and it’s incredible to see.
And she\\\'s not stopping there.
I have decided to continue the donations in a new direction by giving someone in the LA area a car. I have a 2009 Ford Fushion that I would like to give to a family who is in desperate need of help. Please let me know if you know anyone who could benefit from this.— THE NAKED PHILANTHROPIST (@lilearthangelk) January 6, 2020
Now her bushfire cause has been proven an unmitigated success, she’s moving on to another amazing endeavor. She’s also teamed up with OnlyFans to continue donating to the Australian Bushfire crisis.
Want to learn more about how the bushfires have impacted Australia? Scroll on for fifty of the most powerful images of the disaster.