Google has denied accusations that one of its Street View cars struck and injured a donkey in Botswana. The California-based company was forced to respond after a Google Street View image of what some claimed was an injured beast was widely shared online.
On Tuesday, Reddit users began discussing the image, discovered via the Google Maps service, of a donkey lying on its side in the dust on a road in the Kweneng region of Botswana. Many were outraged, believing the Google car had knocked over the donkey and driven on. Google took the fears of animal- lovers seriously enough to respond, publishing a blog post refuting the claims, with the wry title "Never ass-ume".
Kei Kawa of Google Maps explained. "Because of the way our 360-degree imagery is put together, it looked to some that our car had been involved in an unseemly hit and run, leaving the humble beast stranded in the road. As our imagery shows, the donkey was lying in the path before moving safely aside as our car drove past."
The raw images showed parts of the Street View vehicle, proving that it was nowhere near the animal as it passed by.