Did a Google Street View car kill a donkey? You decide!

Google Street View cars are roaming all around the world, taking pictures to make it easier for you to navigate the roads. Heck, they’ve even mapped out part of the South Pole in case you ever find yourself down there on vacation.

But what happens when animals are in the road when Google’s car is driving around? Based on an image by Twitter user @TheRealSheldonC, the car may ignore the livestock and simply run them over. News.com.au posted images showing a donkey lying on the ground between two tire tracks, indicating that the animal may have been hit and killed by the car. Google, on the other hand, is saying that the animal was rolling around in the dirt before jumping up and out of the way of the oncoming vehicle, and states that the donkey was unharmed.

What’s your take? Is Google telling the truth and the donkey was playing on the dirt road before getting up and moving? Or did the Google car driver play some real life Grand Theft Auto and run the donkey down?

Source: News.com.au | Image via News.com.au

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Google car wouldn't hit a donkey and just go away. First, to kill the donkey, the car would need a good speed. Second, if the car hit the donkey with speed enough to kill, the car would be seriously damaged and it wouldn't be able to continue. A dog can cause enough damage in a car to make it unable to keep moving! What to say about a donkey!

Filipe Ribeiro said,
Google car wouldn't hit a donkey and just go away. First, to kill the donkey, the car would need a good speed. Second, if the car hit the donkey with speed enough to kill, the car would be seriously damaged and it wouldn't be able to continue. A dog can cause enough damage in a car to make it unable to keep moving! What to say about a donkey!

Indeed. To hit a donkey is pretty much like to hit another vehicle.

It's sad that an animal has died but how is this case any different to the hundreds of other road kill. Deer get hit, rabbits, hedgehogs and more get run over, assuming that the driver didn't purposely target the donkey then nothing "wrong" has occurred.

Are people only making a fuss about this particularly case because it's Google?

Munroe said,
It's sad that an animal has died but how is this case any different to the hundreds of other road kill. Deer get hit, rabbits, hedgehogs and more get run over, assuming that the driver didn't purposely target the donkey then nothing "wrong" has occurred.

Are people only making a fuss about this particularly case because it's Google?


The animal didn't die!

Google wouldn't lie about it. There's too much potential bad press to come from lying ... if they killed it, they'd probably just have removed it before putting it up. There's got to be some form of QA.

I am certainly not a donkey expert, but I've seen my share of horses, and this is what I think happened:
1. Google car drivers spot the donkey on the side of the road and slow down to look at it (because they're human, and humans tend get excited by wildlife on the side of the road).
2. Google drivers probably slow down to observe the donkey and also to be cautious.
3. Maybe the driver actually stops and briefly interacts with the donkey in some way.
4. Donkey trots out behind the car and then rolls in the car's tyre tracks. It does this probably because the car kicked up some fresh dust and dirt (maybe the donkey likes rolling in the fresh dust? I've seen horses do it)
5. Donkey rolling in the dirt has now become boring, Google car drives off, slowly at first and then accelerating.
6. Happy days!

Why I think that what I said above is the case:
* If the car hit the donkey you would see skid marks, and swerve marks behind the car, almost no one tries to hit wildlife in their car.
* Hitting a donkey at high speed would leave a lot of damage on the car.
* Its only natural to assume that at low speeds that such a collision wouldn't even happen.
* The donkey doesn't look injured.
* You can tell by the clarity of the donkey and close scenery that the car was probably driving slowly at the time.
* The fact that in one frame the donkey is standing, and in the other it is rolling shows that the car has probably stopped and time has probably elapsed.
* Furthermore you can tell the car sped up again, because as you move beyond the donkey you see dust get kicked up by the car's tyres.
* Horses like to roll around in dust, I guess donkeys might be similar.

Anyway, if PETA gets involved, they should only get involved to thank Google for slowing down, being cautious around the donkey and then giving it some fresh dust to roll in.

Actually come to think about it... I think it might have happened the other way... the donkey was probably already rolling and the car disturbed it! :-P

Good attempt of avoiding Betteridge's law of headlines:
"Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

Travels thousands of miles around the world. Potentially kills 1 donkey. Makes the headlines.

And yes, I agree with Xepol in the comments here. Looks pretty obvious.

Was the vehicle damaged? Was there a swatch of donkey hair in the grill/fender? No blood, legs look intact, dirt in road looks like the donkey spent its time in one spot... not like it was hit and thrown or dragged or what-have-you.

I've seen horses play in the dirt, they are like big dogs sometimes. Kind of silly to see but they do roll around on the ground, play-bow, toss things...

Nothing but click-grabbing. It's obvious, even in that one cover picture, the donkey is alive. It's not even on the GROUND ffs.

Not only is the donkey just fine, and taking a sand bath, if the google car HAD hit it, it would -not- be continuing its journey... It'd be on the roadside, probably on its side or roof, and the driver likely dead.

Donkey's ain't small animals.

If you go back far enough to see when the other car passed the donkey, the donkey is actually standing up. As the other car passes, the donkey actually falls to the ground. As you get closer and closer, the position of the donkey on the ground changes - almost as if he is just rolling around on the dirt. As the Google car approaches, the donkey appears to get up and take off to the left hand side of the road.

I really don't see any evidence what so ever that either car hit the donkey. Someone has just felt the need to create a huge fuss out of nothing.

Lol. Yeah, it wasn't hit (or at least didn't look like it). If you keep going down the street, you'll see it finally getting back up and then trying to catch back up to the Street View car, it looks like...

I understand that map so clear. when the car hit donkey then donkey got hit then go up in the air then donkey dropped off on the road the car still goes to foward. I heard some people who hit deers like this too.

yup, like donkey's make it a point to play in the mud by rolling over in the sand exactly at 1pm daily but i also don't see any blood shed which means i'll surely see one if its hit

Anything for a headline these days. All it takes is a simple check for yourself to see. Also note that Botswana drive on the left, with evidence about 100 metres before that the driver was actually sticking to the left (as another car passed), and also the dust trail can be seen behind the car.

This means that the Donkey was rolling in the dirt BEFORE the Google Car arrived. The Google Car must have stopped and then waited until the Donkey got up and moved to the side of the road, as the following frame shows the Donkey clearly out of the way as the car passes, and the dust trail had already settled by then.

There is NO evidence of Donkeys walking backwards or doctoring, in fact it is the viewer that is following it backwards.
Donkeys also love rolling around the dirt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCy9bcWPGhE

Edited by Simon-, Jan 16 2013, 6:45am :

Simon- said,
Anything for a headline these days. All it takes is a simple check for yourself to see. Also note that Botswana drive on the left, with evidence about 100 metres before that the driver was actually sticking to the left (as another car passed), and also the dust trail can be seen behind the car.

This means that the Donkey was rolling in the dirt BEFORE the Google Car arrived. The Google Car must have stopped and then waited until the Donkey got up and moved to the side of the road, as the following frame shows the Donkey clearly out of the way as the car passes, and the dust trail had already settled by then.

There is NO evidence of Donkeys walking backwards or doctoring, in fact it is the viewer that is following it backwards.
Donkeys also love rolling around the dirt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCy9bcWPGhE


We have no further questions your honor! Case closed!

The proof is on the pictures, cmon ....

If you go back he is standing. If you go forward (and look back), it's still on the ground for a while and then you can see it coming back up on it's feet at a distance.

Case closed.

Yeah it looks like it's taking advantage of the newly stirred up dirt to take a dust bath and if you keep looking at it and click the arrow that points towards you/away from the Donkey 7 times you see it's gotten up!

If you go to that spot on street view and proceed back one before the picture you see the car passes the donkey totally. Don't know why the donkey is one the dirt after though.

aviator189 said,
Well...whatever happened, poor donkey..

Poor donkey? that donkey was fed a carrot by the Google driver, and is just finishing rolling around on his back in the warm dirt.

defiantly photoshopped.

that or it didnt die. there would have been big new about it already. "Google driver killed while running into a donkey". you dont just run into a donkey and drive away, your car would be dead before the donkey.

Edited by ShareShiz, Jan 16 2013, 7:35am :

ShareShiz said,
defiantly photoshopped.

that or it didnt die. there would have been big new about it already.

What do you think this is? What do you think is happening? Many news sources are reporting this.

Still. I don't think they hit it.