On August 1st, the Empire State Building became a beacon for endangered species and a sky-scraping tribute to Cecil the lion, a now world-famous lion lured outside a nature preserve in Zimbabwe by a dentist looking for a trophy.
Cecil’s death has arguably had more impact than the death of any animal in recent memory. Donations to conservation groups have spiked, the dentist—Walter Palmer—forced out of business by protests and a flood of negative online reviews, and social media is ablaze with lion love. And last Saturday night, 33 floors of the Empire State Building paid their respects.
The display of over 160 different animals was coordinated by Louie Psihoyos, the Oscar-winning director of the documentary The Cove, which exposed the horror of dolphin hunting in Japan. According to the New York Times, the projections were created by 40 stacked, 20,000-lumen projectors placed on an adjacent skyscraper, and lasted for three hours. The images could reportedly be seen as far as 20 blocks away.
Aside from being a tribute to Cecil, Psihoyos’ million-dollar project was a tie in for a new documentary called “Racing Extinction”, which airs on The Discovery Channel on December 2nd.
Check out more projections from the weekend in the gallery below.
Image Credits: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters; Craig Ruttle/Associated Press