Google denies killing donkey with Streetview car

18/01/2013

Trying to stay true to its mantra of ‘Don’t be Evil’, Google has assured web users that no animals were harmed in the making of its maps, after a picture surfaced on the web showing a donkey lying on the side of a road next to a Streetview car. The search engine giant was forced to issue the denial saying the animal was simply enjoying a dust bath.

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After Steetview images surfaced on the web of a donkey lying prone on a road in Botswana this weekend, web users accused Google of running over the animal and leaving it for dead.

Google Maps group product manager Kei Kawai was forced to make a blog post titled "Never ass-ume" in response to concerns about the animal's wellbeing.

He said the donkey had merely been enjoying a roll in the dirt when the car approached the animal in the Kweneng district in the southern African country.

"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. I'm pleased to confirm the donkey is alive and well."

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His blog post included a set of images showing the donkey standing and moving aside as the Google Maps car neared, and then staring inquisitively at the vehicle as it drove away.

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Launched in 2007, Street View provides panoramic views from locations around the world for popular services including Google Maps and Google Earth.

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