Officials say a rabid wild animal most likely passed through the donkey's pasture.
The case is the first known case of rabies in a donkey in Durham County, and it is the second rabies case in 2010.
In February, a skunk tested positive. A total of 205 cases of rabies have been reported in Durham County since 1998.
Durham County Animal Control officials advise the greatest defense against rabies is for citizens to ensure that all dogs and cats four months of age, and older, are vaccinated and remain current. Rabies vaccinations are required by state law. Animals are vaccinated with one-year vaccinations, and if they maintain a current history, can be vaccinated with three-year vaccines by a veterinarian.
Durham County Animal Control offers one-year vaccinations at the Animal Control Office, located at 3005 Glenn Road. Vaccinations are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., and between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
State law does not mandate vaccination for livestock but many livestock species can contract the virus. Durham County Animal Control recommends consulting with a large animal veterinarian to have livestock vaccinated against the rabies virus.
For more information about rabies, citizens can contact Durham County Animal Control, at 919-560-0634.