Dead Birds Found Near National Arts Club Investigated By State

03/09/2011 01:34 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

GRAMERCY PARK -- New York State environmental officials launched an investigation Tuesday into the dead zebra finches that were found on the streets and sidewalks of this elite enclave over the weekend.

The Department of Environmental Conservation probe is in addition to an animal cruelty investigation already underway by the ASPCA, which dispatched two agents to search the park on Tuesday.

"We are looking into it," said DEC spokeswoman Lori Severino, explaining that the release of these birds was in violation of Environmental Conservation Law 11-0507, aka "the nuisance wildlife control license," which requires permission to release wildlife.