A would-be fishing trip turned tragic for two Kasese youth on Sunday night when they drowned as their fishing boat capsized in an alleged clash with hippopotamuses.
The incident occurred on Lake George in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Kasese district police commander (DPC) Michael Musani Sabila identified the two young men as Peter Masereka, 19, of Kyanya, Maliba sub-county and 22-year-old Paulo Muhindo of Rusese, Bwera sub-county.
Their bodies were found floating on the lake's waters Monday afternoon.
The recovery of the bodies started from an operation led by the in-charge of Kahendero Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) ranger post, Corporal Michael Amuriat, using an engine boat.
The DPC said the pre-dawn incidence could have likely occurred at around 2.00am local time (EAT), some three kilometres inside Lake George from Kahendero fish-landing village in Muhokya sub-county.
According to authorities, the nature of damage on the boat involved indicated that there was a clash with the animals.
DPC Musani said the incident occurred when the duo's boat reportedly collided with hippos, which must have then reacted by fighting back, judging from the damaged boat.
"According to information we have, the area is a breeding place for hippos. We suspect that the hippos must have hit back, especially to protect their young," the police commander said on Monday.
Three other fishermen have died in the same area this year, he said.
According to Kahendero residents and the LC1 chairman, Mambo Mugisha, the area of where the incident took place is a such a favorite breeding spot for hippos that it has been named kigomborora, (more like sub-county headquarters).
Muhokya LC3 chairperson, Ernest Kasole, said that the deceased fishermen were new in the area, and had fished for about two months.