The Chapultepec Zoo is celebrating the first birth of a hippopotamus in 16 years and the public can help select a name for the animal, Mexico City's government said.

The parents and the baby hippo are living in the zoo's pastures, the Mexican capital's government said.

"The baby was born underwater, without complications and with a weight of approximately 40 kilograms (88 pounds). Since its birth, it has received maternal care and feedings, which will continue until the age of 11 months," officials said in a statement.

Citizens can vote for the baby's name, choosing from among Igoli, which means gold in Zulu; Haji, which means noble in the Swahili language; and Mabbina, which means joy in Swahili, officials said.

The Chapultepec Zoo has three adult hippos, including a 36-year-old male called Villita, who was born at the park, and a 25-year-old male known as Güero, who was born at the San Juan de Aragon Zoo.

Güera, a 3-year-old female hippo, arrived at the Chapultepec Zoo from the zoo in Queretaro and is the baby's mother.

The common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) are huge animals that can weigh up to 4.5 tons.

Hippos live in the rivers and lakes of sub-Saharan Africa, usually belonging to herds of 10 to 15 animals.

The Chapultepec Zoo, located in the forest of the same name in the Mexican capital, is the largest attraction of its type in Latin America.

The zoo, which opened in 1924, has more than 2,000 animals from over 200 species on display and is free for residents, with an estimated 5.5 million to 8 million people visiting each year. EFE