This study describes the changes taking place during rigour in springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) Longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL) and Biceps femoris (BF) muscles. Samples from six male and six female springbok were snap-frozen at 2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 18, 24 and 30h post-mortem (PM) and the pH, calpains I, II and calpastatin activities and cathepsins B, BL and H activities were determined. The ... [Show full abstract] temperature was also recorded. Significant third-order interactions were found for the pH and temperature, with the female LTL cooling more rapidly and acidifying slower than the other samples. Female muscles were at risk of developing cold-shortening and all the samples cooled more rapidly than recommended for cattle or sheep. Cathepsin BL activity increased PM, likely due to the degradation of the lysosomes. Calpains I, II and calpastatin activity declined during rigour, indicating that the calpains were activated early PM. Gender and muscle had a significant effect on calpain and cathepsin activity.