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Heather Maltman has been forced to defend her latest Instagram post.

Former Bachelor star turned radio host Heather Maltman has been forced to defend herself after posting a photo to Instagram swimming with dolphins at SeaWorld on the Gold Coast.

“This is the kind of picture your mum makes you take. What an awesome experience,” she captioned the photo, as she posed with the dolphins alongside her co-hosts Dan Anstey and Ben Hannant.

Soon after the image was uploaded, Maltman was hit with a barrage of criticism calling ignorance.

“Unbelievable ignorance. This lot need to educate themselves starting by watching things like The Cove. But hey as long as they get their nice pic and a few likes who cares how the dolphins got there. Dolphin cruelty needs to stop and these people just promote it. Congratulations,” one wrote.

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“Are you serious?! How can you be so ignorant to the pain and suffering those poor animals go through. So glad you at least got a picture though, cause that’s what it’s all about, yeah?” another added.

Less than 12 hours after the image was posted, Maltman addressed the criticism.

“To you who are complaining about SeaWorld please watch and ACTUALLY go there. If you want to make a difference. Get educated before you post. Then you can make significant change in our community,” she wrote alongside a video of her justifications.

“I just want to let you guys know it’s incredibly miseducated to think SeaWorld is actually harming their animals and doing something wrong by the community,” she said in the video.

“In actual fact what they’re doing is helping marine life and teaching people in the community about marine life, which is phenomenal because no one is doing that.

“So to sit there and say these animals are being mistreated or not looked after properly or are unhappy, go there and see for yourself. Go there and have a look before you write the comments you’re writing because I’m telling you you’re actually wrong.”

The comments following Maltman’s clarification were remarkably split.

Listen: What everyone does on Instagram. (Post continues.)

“They may have great educational programs and encourage a love of sea animals in children.. but the way they go about it is unnecessary and cruel,” one wrote.

“I too rolled my eyes at these people until I watched blackfish. Never again will I step foot in a SeaWorld venue,” another added.

In comparison, one more said they “literally can’t like this enough”, while another said “you are dealing with people who react to headlines and never read the article”.

And that, of course, is beauty of social media.

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