The Real Deal New York

Empire State Building goes bananas for conservation

Massive images of endangered animals were projected across the building yesterday

August 02, 2015 03:00PM

Credit: Joel Sartore and Rob Robinson

Credit: Joel Sartore and Rob Robinson

Days after the Internet flew into an uproar over the death of beloved Zimbabwean lion Cecil at the hands of a poacher, images of endangered animals were projected across the Empire State Building.

The creators of the event, Tavis Threlkel and Louie Psihoyos, refer to the event as a “weapon of mass instruction.”

“We’re going to try to create something beautiful. Not bum people out.” Threlkel told the New York Times. “Hopefully, this is one big domino. If we can tip it, it would be great.”


Yesterday, using 40 stacked projectors on the roof of a building on West 31st Street, Threlkel and Psihoyos, director of the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” showed a “Noah’s ark” of endangered animals, including a snow leopard, a golden lion tamarin, manta rays, snakes, birds and various mammals and sea creatures.


Getting the city to approve the stunt took over three years, because of strict laws regarding the projection of images on buildings. Television producer Norman Lear eventually stepped in to assist, using his connections to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office. [NYT]Christopher Cameron