Google: The donkey is fine

Yesterday, the Internet went nuts over images from Google Maps that seem to show that one of its Street View photo cars had run over and killed a donkey in the Kweneng region of Botswana. Google quickly denied that it had harmed the donkey in the image and now it has offered up additional proof that there was no donkey hit-and-run incident.

In a post on the Google Maps blog, the company admitted that its 360 degree camera may have created an illusion that it had run over the animal. However, the additional images show the donkey actually got up from the ground before the car reached its location. It's likely that the animal was giving himself a quick dust bath on the dirt road before becoming an international Internet sensation.

The blog also posted up an image taken from the rear of the Street View car, showing the donkey quite alive and seemingly well, although we are sure he is unaware he was about to become an Internet meme. Kei Kawai, the Group Product Manager for Google Maps added, "I hope you continue to enjoy some of the spectacular images of Botswana and its wildlife, big and small."

While the donkey may be fine, this deer was not so lucky. 

Source: Google Maps blog | Image via Google

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26 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Haha, deleted my comment. Getting so many likes must have stung.

Eagerly awaiting a 3rd article on the donkey.

Brandon said,

I dont think God had anything to do with anything related to this

Why do you think god doesn't love the donkey ?

dead.cell said,
I'm pretty sure God loves him some sweet ass.
And if he did have something to do with it, I'm sure my former representatives back in north carolina would just say the donkey obviously didn't pray hard enough if he was hit.

"the company admitted".. ADMITTED? The company did not ADMIT anything! The article sounds like Neowin is trying to blame Google for Neowin's misreporting.

It is NEOWIN that should be admitting that they didn't check their source properly, or is it crossing the line to become too professional to post a retraction for something that should have never reached the front page in the first place?

Umm, Neowin didn't make a determination one way or the other on the donkey. Heck, the headline itself even says, "You decide." Read it again, we never blamed Google for killing a donkey, we just asked the question -- and published it because the story was getting a lot of traction online.

People seem to forget before that if they did hit a donkey, the actual van itself would be considerably worse for wear. It's not like they could have hit it and just continued driving off anyway. Silly non-story in the first place.

ACTIONpack said,
There is a reason why Neowin put "Where UNPROFESSIONAL journalism looks better".

I don't know if you are trying to say that is a bad thing? For me it is the primary reason I visit this site for my tech news, because it is unprofessional and hence has no hidden agenda to skew the reporting in favour of/or against any kind of corporate interest.

I may not like all of the Windows love here but I am willing to swallow it for what I consider to be good, entertaining and relevant to my interests reporting and opinion pieces on all things tech.

If i wanted serious tech news, I'd go to Cnet, oh wait.. scratch that.. Zdnet? No.. not that.. Um... Huffing.. wait.. no.. aol? Um.. no, that's not it.. Neowin for the win!

good to know that the donkey is fine however, i love the images you can find on google now adays. I saw a stationary bike for exercise that used google maps so you can do virtual tours while you exercised.