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Google denies reports Street View car hit a donkey

Luke Johnson


Google Street View Donkey
Google Street View Donkey

Google has denied reports that one of its Google Street View cars ran over a donkey after images were discovered of the prone animal on a Botswana road using the company’s navigation tool.

The latest oddity to be discovered on Google Street View, controversy has been sparked by a sequence of images that appear to show a donkey being run over by a Google Street View car on a deserted dirt track in rural Botswana.

With the donkey, which has rapidly become an internet hit causing outrage and humour in equal measure, clearly visible standing prior to the Google Street View car’s arrival, the sequence of images, which are still visible on the Google Street View website, show the animal lying prone in the centre of the road following the car’s passing.

Although Google has flatly refuted claims one of its vehicles was responsible for the animal’s injury, suggesting the donkey was lying down before the car arrived only to stand up, conspiracy theorists have highlighted a number of oddities in the picture stream that appear to suggest the Street View car was responsible for the incident.

Whilst the dirt track does not show any deviation to the car’s tracks either prior or following the claimed collision, further images reveal a puff of dust as the donkey seemingly hit the dirt and show the animal on the ground in close proximity to the rear of the vehicle.

Responding in slightly tongue-in-cheek fashion to reports of a Google Street View car striking a donkey, a Google spokesperson reportedly told Australian news outlet News.co.au “we did not cause any harm to the donkey.”

Citing an unnamed “Google Street View Spokesman,” the reports have quoted the company representative as stating: “Our Street View teams take the safety of people and donkeys very seriously.”

Having suggested the animal ‘got up’, they spokesperson reportedly added: “A review of our imagery confirms that we did not cause any harm to the donkey.”

Is this the strangest Google Street View oddity you have seen? If not share your best with us via the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook or through the comment boxes below.

David miceli

January 17, 2013, 1:47 pm

Before the protest lines start forming,look at the animals tracks,it just layed down and took a dirt bath,probably to rid itself of tsetse flies and such,it is Africa and all.Ever seen a dog roll over and scratch its back ? same thing also explains dust cloud.


January 17, 2013, 2:26 pm

Did you even bother to check the images up on street view? It clearly shows the donkey on the side of the road as the streeview car passes it, facing away from the road. How could it have hit the donkey?

And that's ignoring that the streetview car was travelling in the opposite direction (the car it meets near the donkey is the proof of this). Assuming the pictures aren't doctored, then the donkey was on the road before the streetview car met it.

James Jones

January 17, 2013, 2:42 pm

Whats' all the fuss?
As they drive on the left hand side of the road in Botswana, the sequence shows the car approaching a donkey taking a dirt bath, as David suggests, probably stops to let it get up, and then carries on. The donkey is fine!


January 17, 2013, 3:00 pm

They drive on the left in Botswana, not the right. So, as you approach the donkey, you can see a pickup approaching, the donkey is visible standing in the dust just to the left of the pickup in the distance.
As the StreetView car approaches, the donkey is lying down - whether knocked down by the pickup or just having a dust bath is hard to tell. After being disturbed by the SV car, it has got up and is standing in its dust, watching it disappear.


January 17, 2013, 3:09 pm

In fact (having just had another look), just as you approach the horizontal donkey (on the LH side of the road), click the arrow once more and turn to the left. The donkey is standing there, right beside the car. Quite impossible for it to have been hit.


January 17, 2013, 3:45 pm

Taking ino consideraion that they drive on the left and thre was no change in the cars tracks it would have been impossibe for the car to hit the donky and futher more if you look at the images prior to the alleged accident you can clealy see (if you lok closely, and know much abot dnkey behaviour) that the legs of the donkey get further away from the ground as if the donkey was roling over and then in the final clearest image of the donkey you can see that it has rolled over onto is other side.


January 17, 2013, 3:53 pm

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William Hamilton

January 17, 2013, 5:13 pm

Moving down the road you can see the donkey get back up in the distance and seems to be following the google car...

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