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, is selling nudes in aid of the bushfires – and she’s raised an incredible amount of money. But no good deed goes unpunished – and Instagram has controversially taken down the model’s account.
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.
According to CNN, so far, in New South Wales alone, more than 900 houses have been destroyed.
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 BBC reported that close to fifty bush fires continue to burn in populated coastal and inland regions to the city’s north.
Including several volunteer firefighters.
Last month, the smoke was so bad in Sydney that air quality measured 11 times the “hazardous” level, CNN reports.
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.
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.
Including the U.S. and New Zealand, who have sent in more firefighters to try and help tackles the blazes.
There seems to be no end to the blazes.
In total, more than 5.9 million hectares (14.6 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.
And are left stranded awaiting evacuation. It’s a truly heartbreaking sight.
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.
Several of Australia’s native species have been affected including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, possums, wombats, and echidnas.
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.”
It’s believed that at least a third of Koalas in New South Wales alone have perished in the flames.
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.
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.
And of course, we all remember Lewis the Koala who was heroically rescued by a woman using the clothes off her back.
And its only set to get worse. But the number that surfaced this week is utterly heartbreaking.
Ecologists from the University of Sydney have said that it’s thought around 480 million mammals, birds, and reptiles have died since September.
This is Kaylen, also known by her social media handle, The Naked Philanthropist.
But her social media accounts have a difference. Kaylen uses her hotness for good, rather than evil.
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.
Meaning even those who didn’t want to buy her nudes could help out with the cause.
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.
For those who had been delaying making their donation, this … incentive was just the push they needed.
Kaylen has so far raised an estimated $700,000 – and that figure is set to rise. Could her brand of “naked philanthropy” raise a million dollars?
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.
Rather than just sending “thoughts and prayers,” Kaylen has actually taken action – and it’s incredible to see.
Now her bushfire cause has been proven an unmitigated success, she’s moving on to another amazing endeavor.
Want to learn more about how the bushfires have impacted Australia? Scroll on for fifty of the most powerful images of the disaster.