The John Ball Zoo announced on Tuesday that it's two male Amur tigers will be moving into new homes this winter.

According to a news release from the zoo, the decision was made as part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) breeding plan.

The two tigers, Yuri and Kuza, came to John Ball Zoo in 2014. They were genetically valuable and at an ideal age to pair with females in a species survival program.

There are less than 500 Amur tigers left in the wild, and while the zoo staff are sad to see Yuri and Kuza leave -- both are important to the future survival of the species. Once they are gone,JOhn Ball Zoo will be getting two male yearling tigers sometime next year.

John Ball Zoo is open through Dec. 2 for Christmas for the Animals and both Yuri and Kuza will be there -- they won't move away until later this winter.

For more information about the zoo's hours and admission prices -- so that you can visit Yuri and Kuza before they leave, visit

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April Stevens is a multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.