By John B. Thawite
KASESE district - Two fishermen drowned in Lake George when a hippopotamus attacked them as they were fishing near Kasenyi fish landing site in Queen Elizabeth National Park, located in Lake Katwe sub-county.
The district fisheries officer, Julius Baluku, Baluku said the bodies of the two fishermen had been retrieved and taken to Rubirizi district for burial.
Only identified as Tondo and Kayanda, the deceased duo had been working as fishing partners, Baluku said.
He described the accident as “unfortunate”, the second of such fashion in the district in less than a month.
Earlier this June, two other fishermen suffered similar fate after their boat had capsized during an alleged confrontation with hippos around Kahendero landing site.
The latter pair’s bodies were found floating on the waters by a search team led by a Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) ranger a day after the assumed attack.
Commenting on the more recent incident, fisheries officer Baluku advised fishermen to cut down the frequency of their night fishing because of the looming danger.
Normally, visibility at night at the lake is low, which brings the fishermen a lot closer to any peril.
In the previous late-night attack, it was not certain what exactly led to the death of the fishermen, but by the nature of damage on their boat, it was believed to have been a struggle with hippos.
Residents told of the families of hippos that had made the area their breeding spot.
Meanwhile, two other fishermen narrowly survived being mauled by a crocodile also at Kasenyi landing site Friday morning.
According to the area LC3 chairman, Sedras Baluku, the two survivors hopped onto a nearby canoe when they saw the man-eating reptile split its jaws a feet away from them.
From reports, it is understood that the number of crocs in the area has increased. These, Baluku said, eat fish caught in fishermen’s nets.
The chairmen drew an appeal to UWA to establish measures of controlling the deadly reptiles.
In a related development, the fishing community at Katunguru landing site on the Kazinga Channel along the Kasese-Rubirizi border are mourning the death of their Beach Management Unit (BMU) chairman, Mark Mulali.
Mulali was a prominent businessman in Katunguru.
He died on spot when he collided with an unidentified wild animal as he was riding a motorcycle along the Kikokrongo-Katunguru highway Thursday night.