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.”