NEWBERRY, Fla. (AP) _ A rare, white Bengal tiger being walked on a leash killed a trainer Thursday after it was startled by construction workers.

Charles Edward Lizza III was running to help calm the 350-pound tiger when he tripped and fell and the animal bit him on the neck, said Alachua County sheriff's Sgt. Jim Troiano. Lizza, 34, died at a hospital.

Ron Guay, who co-owns Ron and Joy Holiday's Cat Dancers, was walking the tiger from a night kennel to a day kennel when it was startled.

The Guays had raised the tiger since it was six days old, The Gainesville Sun reported. It is up to the owners to decide what becomes of the tiger, Troiano said.