Google: We Didn't Run Over That Donkey

In the last few days there has been a lot of speculation that one of the vehicles taking pictures for Google Maps Street View ran over a donkey on a dusty road in Botswana. Google assured its viewers that it was just the way the images are compiled together.

Google let people know that, "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."

They claim that the reality of the situation is that the donkey was laying in the road taking a "dust bath", which many animals do in hot areas to cool themselves off and relieve the nasty itch of various insects bites, and that it got to its feet and shambled off the road in front of the vehicle quite safe and sound.

Seems to me that the donkey is doing pretty well in the picture. The real question is whether Google approached the donkey and got it to sign a release agreement for the use of its photograph. We may not have heard the end of this yet if the donkey gets a good lawyer.