Google Street View obscures the faces of people and license plates to protect privacy. But when it was revealed that it had blurred the muzzle of a cow from Cambridge, it made the animal an online celeb.
The cow with a blurred muzzle was discovered online by the Guardian paper’s American opinion editor, David Shariatmadari.
The picture, which quickly went viral and was retweeted over 14,000 times, was taken at Coe Fen, Cambridge in the UK last August.
It showed a large black cow peacefully eating grass on the bank of the Cam River.
A Google spokesman confirmed to the BBC that the company’s face-blurring technology has been “a little overzealous.”
“Of course, we don’t begrudge this cow milking its five minutes of fame,” he added.
The picture has led to a wave of humorous comments online as users mock Google’s seriousness towards animal privacy.
@jazmasta Cows should dress more modestly so they don't have to have their faces blurred in shame. pic.twitter.com/dBkfvpVprR
— Rev. Howard Furst (@revhowardfurst) September 13, 2016
Some people think one cow looks much like any udder. Not so!
— Tim Bale (@ProfTimBale) September 13, 2016
— Jacques Maree (@JacquesMaree73) September 13, 2016
The Cambridge cow, however, was not the first animal to have its muzzle obscured in a publicly-released photograph in Britain.
In May, West Midlands police released an image of three sheep stolen in Birmingham, deciding to blur the animals’ faces.