Fans are furious at Sunrise's Samantha Armytage, accusing her of promoting "cruelty".

Breakfast television co-host Samantha Armytage is being criticised on social media for posing with a chained tiger at Dreamworld.

The 40-year-old was photographed with the animal on Friday while filming an episode of Sunrise at the Gold Coast theme park, and later shared the picture on Instagram.

Her light-hearted caption: “‘Pat!’ Someone yelled. So I did. Apparently, that was the keeper’s name….”

But plenty of her followers didn’t see the funny side of the picture, and expressed their anger that the star would promote what they described as “cruelty”.

"I couldn't think of anything worse for that beautiful animal, than to be paraded through droves of noisy spectators all day on a chain," wrote one commenter.

"Cruel," wrote another.

The image was also shared on Sunrise's Instagram account, where it attracted yet more criticism.

"Yes to beautiful animals, but no to having it chained and caged away from its natural habitat," argued a commenter. "Sad really."

Another questioned, "Tiger chained up? For our entertainment?"

However, one follower came to Amrytage's defence, writing: "There's no cruelty there peeps. @dreamworld_wildlife_foundation @dreamworldau are doing incredible work to save these beautiful tigers. If it was in the wild it wouldn't be safe until country's [sic] crack down on poachers... Thx @sam_armytage for sharing the story."

In a segment aired during Friday's episode, Dreamworld's Tiger Island manager, Patrick Martin-Vegue, said that with less than 3000 tigers left, facilities such as his are necessary to ensure the future of the species.

He has overseen a breeding program that's resulted in the birth of 12 cubs at the park.

"It's very important in that it's an insurance population in case they go extinct in the wild," he said.

"Secondly, these guys have a great impact on people to donate and create awareness about what is going on with tigers in the wild."

00:00 / ???