• The left cover, featuring a spirit bear, won with 61 per cent of the vote.

With a cover line like “Best of the Best” it almost goes without saying that selecting an image for this issue of Canadian Geographic was easy.

After all, our cover vote included three images that are personal favourites of renowned Canadian wildlife photographer Paul Nicklen, so, really, all three options were winners.

Still, only one can grace the issue’s front. Thankfully, voters overwhelmingly agreed with our staff’s assessment: option one (above left) was clearly the cream of an excellent crop. Indeed, it garnered a whopping 61 per cent of our online tally (options two and three nabbed 14 and 25 per cent, respectively).

Voters and our staff alike were captivated by the stark contrast of the white spirit, or Kermode, bear against the lush greens of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. Plus, as more than a few participants commented, there’s just something special about a bear.

If you don’t already receive our cover vote email but want to, sign up for the Canadian Geographic newsletter. And be sure to pick up a copy of the December 2013 issue of Canadian Geographic if you’re not already a subscriber. It hits newsstands Dec. 2.