Google Didn’t Kill A Donkey [Official Response]

Google, Inc. is not responsible for killing a donkey. At least that’s the official stance of the company’s Google Street View vehicle team. As we reported yesterday, a dead donkey in the middle of a Botswana road led many people online to believe the company wasn’t living up to its “do no evil” slogan.

The dead donkey street view rumor led Google Maps officials to post a response to the incident on the official Google Maps blog this morning.

Google officials titled the post “Never ass-ume,” which seemed fitting given the conspiracy theories that have cropped up over the dead donkey incident. Google write:

“Over the last 24-hours concerned members of the public and the media have been speculating on the fate of a donkey pictured in Street View in the Kweneng region of Botswana.

“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 below shows, the donkey was lying in the path – perhaps enjoying a dust bath – before moving safely aside as our car drove past. I’m pleased to confirm the donkey is alive and well.”

Before Google responded to the rumor, the donkey street view theory was gaining steam because a Caltech theoretical physicist using the slogan “the real Sheldon Cooper” on Twitter (@TheRealSheldonCooper) tweeted a link to the donkey’s rumored death with photographic evidence.

The new Google post clearly shows two images. In the first image, the Google Streets view car was driving on the left side of the road, and, in the other, it approached the donkey, which was apparently just lying down in the middle of the road.

Google’s post shows that, in images 1 and 2, the car was driving on the left side of the road and approached the donkey, which was lying down, taking a breather.

The real question here is why a random road in Botswana was receiving Google Street Views map treatment when my own small town in America is still without Google love!