Google denies donkey murder

Google has denied that its Street View car caused injury to a donkey while mapping a road in Botswana.

On Tuesday (15 January 2012), Twitter user @TheRealSheldonC tweeted a picture of a donkey which appeared to be injured or dead.

The image’s source is linked to Google’s Street View in Botswana.

The images make it appear as if the Google Street View car had, in fact, knocked the donkey over.

When asked by Australian news site,, whether this was the case, Google denied doing any harm to the animal.

“Our Street View teams take the safety of people and donkeys very seriously,” a Google spokesperson told

“A review of our imagery confirms that we did not cause any harm to the donkey.”

Google Donkey 1
Google Donkey 1
Google Donkey 2
Google Donkey 2
Google Donkey 3
Google Donkey 3

Google explained that the Google Street View car approached the donkey – which was already lying down – which then got up and continued walking, uninjured. insist that Google’s version of events means that the donkey was walking backwards (due to the positioning of the donkey in the photos).

However, as the images were taken from the front of the Street View Car, it’s more likely that the Australian news site was viewing events backwards.

Following the car’s forward movements, the sequence of events is in line with Google’s version.

Upon further investigation, it appears that the donkey may have tripped and fallen in the dust of another oncoming vehicle, or perhaps it simply had a lovely roll in the dirt.

Donkey ahead of Google's Street View car
Donkey ahead of Google’s Street View car

The donkey is pictured alive and well before and after the event.

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Google denies donkey murder