Cecil the lion was a big deal in Zimbabwe.

In fact – he may have been the most beloved lion in Africa.

Oxford researchers had been studying him for years.

Then he was killed by a 55-year-old dentist from Minnesota.

Walter Palmer – Along with a professional hunter and a farmer in Zimbabwe –

Tied a dead animal to a car –

And lured Cecil out of a national park.

Palmer shot him with a crossbow –

Wounded the animal –

And then shot it dead when they tracked it down forty hours later.

They skinned Cecil –

And tried to destroy his collar that has a tracking device attached.

Palmer insists he didn’t know the lion was a protected favorite –

Until it was dead.

The incident ignited a firestorm of protest.

That’s understandable.

But the degree of fury –

The death threats –

That’s not right either.

It’s possible to be angry –

To voice disapproval in public and on social media –

Without hysteria and threats.

Officials in Zimbabwe want to extradite Palmer –

So he can face charges there.

He should.

But he shouldn’t have to fear for his life.