Google Denies Its Street View Car Killed A Donkey

By Khurram Aziz email: k.aziz@mobilenapps.com | Jan 17, 2013 02:47 PM EST

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Google has denied accusations that any animals, or donkeys, were harmed in the making of its popular Maps after a Street View picture showed a donkey lying on the side of a road in Botswana.

To prove its innocence, the search giant has released pictures which seem to show the donkey getting up as the car approaches, and then moving out of its way.

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Twitter user @TheRealSheldonC tweeted a picture on Monday of a donkey lying on a road in Botswana in the sights of a Google Street View car, prompting a flurry of activity on the social media site.

Not long after, Kei Kawai, Group Product Manager, Google Maps, put a blog post entitled Never ass-ume, in which he explained what was really going on in the pictures.

"Because of the way our 360-degree imagery is put together, it looked to some that our car had been involved in an unseemly hit and run, leaving the humble beast stranded in the road," said Kawai. "As our imagery below shows, the donkey was lying in the path - perhaps enjoying a dust bath - before moving safely aside as our car drove past. I'm pleased to confirm the donkey is alive and well.

This isn't the first time that Google's Street View car has been implicated in the slaughter of an animal. In 2009, The Register reported that Google may have run over a deer in creating its mapping project. The jury is still out on those allegation.

The Google Street View car approaches the donkey
The Google Street View car approaches the donkey
The donkey gets up and out of the way of the oncoming vehicle
The donkey gets up and out of the way of the oncoming vehicle
The donkey is seen alive and well in the Street View car's rear camera
The donkey is seen alive and well in the Street View car's rear camera

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