Credits: google maps
Google said its mapping team did not run over a donkey on a dusty Botswana road despite photographic evidence that seems to show it did.
A tweet from @TheRealSheldonC linking to Google Street View ignited online debate about exactly what the interactive map showed. Navigating the forward and back arrows reveals images of the prostrate donkey emerging from clouds of dust and also standing by the roadside. It's unclear in which order the events took place.
Google spokesman Kei Kawai addressed the controversy in a blog post Wednesday.
"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," he wrote.
Kawai posted additional images showing the donkey uninjured, and speculated the animal was taking a "dust bath."
But an analysis by an Australian news site said the explanation is asinine.
"(Google's) version of events seems to make no earthly sense," said News.com.au, noting the donkey appears to walk backwards and left no impression in the dirt after it "got up."