NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Empire State Building was illuminated with images of endangered species Saturday night.

Large-scale images of endangered species were projected onto the side of the iconic building as a way to raise awareness of potential mass extinction and inspire global conservation action.

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The move comes amid national outcry over the death of a beloved and protected lion in Zimbabwe at the hands of a Minnesota dentist.

PHOTOS: Empire State Building Tribute To Endangered Species

Two men in Zimbabwe are accused of helping Walter Palmer lure and kill Cecil the lion.

The head of Zimbabwe’s safari association said the killing was unethical and can’t even be classified as a hunt, since the lion had been illegally lured into the kill zone.

A conservation group said the men had tied a dead animal to their car to lure the lion out of a national park. Palmer is believed to have shot and wounded the lion with a crossbow. The wounded lion was found 40 hours later, and the conservation group says Palmer then fatally shot it.

Cecil was being studied by an Oxford University research program. A conservation group says he was known for his characteristic black mane as he was regularly spotted by tourists in the park over the last 13 years.

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Federal authorities in the U.S. said they’ve now been contacted by a representative for Palmer.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Cecil.

On Saturday afternoon, the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force announced on social media that Cecil’s brother, Jericho, had been shot and killed.

But on Saturday afternoon, a lion researcher in Zimbabwe who tracked Cecil is casting doubt on the report that Jericho was killed.

Researcher Brent Stapelkamp told The Associated Press by telephone Saturday that the satellite collar on a lion named Jericho had been sending normal signals, indicating the lion was alive and moving around.

The first-of-its-kind event at the Empire State Building was put together by filmmaker and founder of Oceanic Preservation Society, Louis Psihoyos, and actor/producer Fisher Stevens.

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