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Saving Rhinos: crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo.com to fund ethical alternative to rhino horn launched by Rhinoceros Horn LLC

Keraplast Technologies, LLC

Portland, Oregon, USA, Dec. 13, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rhinoceros Horn has launched a campaign on crowdfunding site, IndieGoGo.com, to raise funds for an ethical alternative to rhino horn. The company hopes to raise $300,000 USD in order to manufacture and ship its product--a keratin protein powder that its co-founders are teaming up with Keraplast Technologies to produce. The campaign indicates that the product is biologically identical to crushed rhino horn powder and will be used to curb demand for rhino horn in Southeast Asia, and so reducing incentives for poachers to kill endangered rhinos in India and South Africa.

News of this campaign comes just as the number of rhinos killed reached an all-time high of 618, surpassing last year's record of 448. In the last five years, the number of rhinos poached has increased by 4,650 percent from 13 in 2007. Rhino conservation experts recently warned that rhinos will be extinct within ten years if these trends were not reversed. Despite international law protecting rhinos as endangered species, rhino poaching is rampant as poachers kill rhinos for their horn. The illegal contraband is then smuggled into Southeast Asia where it is used for traditional medicine and as a recreational drug.

"This is a serious problem and there is no easy answer," said company CEO, Huyen Hoang. "But any long-term solution must curb demand for rhino horn in Southeast Asia. By offering an ethical alternative that is exactly what rhino horn consumers expect, we are hoping to satisfy the demand for rhino horn in China and Vietnam and spare the rhinos." The company's president, also named Huyen Hoang, added, "If we can educate the public in Southeast Asia about rhino conservation and give them a better alternative, we have a better chance at saving the rhinos from extinction."

The company is collaborating with Keraplast Technologies--the world's leading developer of keratin products. Dr. Rob Kelly, Chief Scientific Officer of Keraplast Technologies said "Rhino horn is made of a single protein called keratin. Our Replicine™ Functional Keratin® technology allows us to isolate particular keratin protein fractions, including pure intact keratin intermediate filament proteins. This is the exact type of keratin that makes up rhino horn provided in an identical manner to how people currently use it, satisfying this market demand in an ethical and sustainable way.

Rhinoceros Horn LLC is a Portland, Oregon based start-up company that provides a sustainable alternative to rhino horn. The company is a social enterprise whose mission is to save the endangered species of rhinos from extinction on Earth. Rhinoceros Horn is privately held in Portland, Oregon.

Keraplast Technologies LLC, a privately held company founded in 1996, is the world's leading developer and manufacturer of keratin products. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Keraplast manufactures Replicine™ Functional Keratin® wound care products with FDA and CE mark clearance for sale around the world, as well as a wide range of skin care, hair care and nutritional solutions using proprietary keratin technology.

CONTACT: Huyen Hoang, Co-Founder & CEO Rhinoceros Horn, LLC Nhuhuyen@rhinoceroshorn.com www.rhinoceroshorn.com 503 473 1361 Huyen Hoang, Co-Founder & President Rhinoceros Horn, LLC Huyen@rhinoceroshorn.com www.rhinoceroshorn.com 503 317 7962 Dr Rob Kelly, CSO Keraplast Technologies LLC Rob.kelly@keraplast.com www.keraplast.com 210 591 8573

Source:Keraplast Technologies, LLC