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