Empire State Building Illuminated With Images of Endangered Species

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

Illuminated images of endangered animals swam and crawled across the Empire State Building on Saturday night in the wake of outrage sparked by the killing of a well-known lion in Zimbabwe.

The iconic New York City building is often lit in varying colors for holidays and events, but the movie-like projections of birds, snakes and whales on the south side of the building was the first display of its kind for the landmark, according to NBC New York.

In total, 160 species were featured — including Cecil, the lion that was killed by an American in early July.

The three-hour exhibition was championed by “The Cove” filmmaker Louie Psihoyos, and featured music from his upcoming movie, Racing Extinction, according to the director's Facebook page.

An image of Cecil the lion is projected onto the Empire State Building as part of an endangered species projection to raise awareness, in New York August 1, 2015.EDUARDO MUNOZ / Reuters