Google denies claim that a Street View car hit a donkey

A Street View image in Botswana shows a donkey lying on its side on a dirt road over tire tracks, which prompted rumors that one of Google's Street View vehicles ran over the animal. As one backs away from the animal in Google Maps, it can be seen in various states of distress in each frame. Google has responded to the claims, saying that it has reviewed the footage and that the animal was not harmed.

According to, Google provided the website with images offering proof that it did not run over the donkey, although the website was not given permission to make those images public. What really happened, according to Google, is that the Street View car came upon the donkey, which was already laying in the road. As it neared, the donkey got up and walked away.

You can see this for yourself here. By zooming away from the donkey, one frame shows it standing on the side of the road as the vehicle passes by. The images visible on Google Maps are said to be in sequential order, and to have been taken with the camera on the front of its car. Still, some are expressing doubt over Google's official explanation.

As noted by, the donkey moves a considerable distance from the frame of it on the ground to the frame of it standing. Likewise, when you move through the frames away from the fallen donkey, it shows the animal still thrashing about in the road as the vehicle drives off into the distance (or nears it, according to Google's explanation), something one wouldn't expect from a donkey just chilling in the road.