Google denies running over donkey in Botswana

Rob Waugh
Google has stepped in to defuse claims that a Street View car ran over and killed a donkey in Botswana. (Image; Google)

Google has stepped in to quash reports that one of its Street View cars had run over and killed a donkey.

In a post on the official Google Maps blog, the search giant claimed that a donkey which appeared to have been run over was alive and well.

The picture of the 'dead' donkey had become the subject of intense debate on social networks after a Reddit user showed a sequence of images which appeared to culminate with the donkey knocked over in the road.

Google, though, claims that the chronology of the images is the other way round - the donkey was lying in the road enjoying a dust bath, then walked out of the way and is pictured alive and well.

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"Over the last 24-hours concerned members of the public and the media have been speculating on the fate of a donkey pictured in Street View in the Kweneng region of Botswana," the search giant said.

"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."

"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."

Whether this will silence doubters on the internet remains to be seen - some have claimed that the donkey would have to walk backwards for Google's version to be right.