January 16, 2013
No, Google Didn’t Kill A Donkey
Did a Google Street View car kill a donkey? That was the question many were mulling after many on the Internet uncovered what seemed like donkey roadkill on Google Maps Street View in Kweneng, Botswana.
The Internet exploded with so much discussion about Google took to its official Lat Long blog today to debunk the rumor. Kei Kawai, Group Product Manager, Google Maps, said he was able to confirm “the donkey is alive and well.”
The series of images show a seemingly lifeless donkey along a stretch of dirt road. Despite the hoopla, there was no evidence from the beginning to suggest the donkey had been hit. In fact, Kawai suggested the donkey was enjoying a “dirt bath,” an activity donkeys are apparently known for doing.
Instead, many speculated about which direction the car actually traveled in; the donkey would have either been enjoying a lovely day in the African sun before taking a dirt nap. Or the nap could have been literal, with the animal just deciding to waken and mosey around after the Google car made its journey.
The Atlantic and several other sites jumped all over the story, reaching out to Google (hopefully before PETA did). Prior to its own blog post, Google provided additional images detailing that said donkey was moving around after the mapmaking mission had been completed.
The story is an interesting anecdote to the hazards of trying to map the entire planet. There has been no shortage of unusual sightings on Street View, with this very likely not being the last.
Images Credit: Google Lat Long Blog